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Government Privacy

UK Plans To Link Criminal Records To ID Cards 359

Posted by timothy
from the oh-sure-blame-the-children-again dept.
Death Metal writes with this excerpt from ComputerWeekly.com about the UK's national ID card scheme: "Privacy advocates have reacted angrily to reports that the government plans to link national identity records to criminal records for background checks on people who work with children and vulnerable people. Up to 11 million such workers could be affected immediately if the plan goes ahead. Phil Booth, national co-ordinator of privacy advocates NO2ID, said the move was consistent with the various forms of coercion strategy to create so-called volunteers for national ID cards. 'Biometrics are part of the search for clean, unique identifiers,' Phil Booth said. He said the idea was patently ridiculous when the Home Office was planning to allow high street shops and the Post Office to take fingerprints for the ID card."
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UK Plans To Link Criminal Records To ID Cards

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  • by kazade84 (1078337) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:50AM (#29282697)

    From the UK and don't like the ID card proposals? Then use your vote next year! [pirateparty.org.uk]

  • Re:hey, UK (Score:4, Informative)

    by damburger (981828) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @05:33AM (#29282883)

    You know in the last season of the wire, where Marlow Stansfield was willing to throw around cases full of cash and kill people just to get the right to meet with a drug supplier? Well, the Queen, as head of state, has the right to meet with her own PM on demand and with any visiting foreign dignitary. Do not underestimate the amount of unelected power this gives her.

    Oh, and we did not elect any of those people. Mandelson is a Lord (as Frankie Boyle put it, appointed by the Sith) and despite being in the cabinet was not elected. The rest are MPs who were elected by the constituency of ~20,000 people each and have taken positions in national government.

    Brown was also elected in a Scottish consituency, Scotland having its own devolved parliament, and gets to rule over England as well despite never having been elected here and his party not having contested a UK election with him as leader.

    Democracy is a distant dream.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @05:42AM (#29282909)

    It seems to be overlooked that the opposition Conservative Party [conservatives.com] has also pledged to ditch ID cards.

    They may not be as sexy as the Pirate Party and no doubt fail to appeal to the rebellious outsider image of the typical /.er, but on the other hand have considerably more chance of winning and actually scrapping the scheme.

  • Re:hey, UK (Score:4, Informative)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @05:44AM (#29282921)

    Yes, you're right, no one elected Gordon Brown to power... Oh wait, yes they did:

    Labour - Gordon Brown - 24278
    SNP - Alan Bath - 6062
    Liberal Democrats - Alex Cole-Hamilton - 5450
    Conservative - Stuart Randall - 4308
    Scottish Socialist - Steve West - 666
    UKIP - Peter Adams - 516
    Scottish Senior Citizens - James Parker - 425
    Independent - Elizabeth Kwantes - 47
    Independent - Pat Sargent - 44

    (Results for the 2005 Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath parliamentry elections)

  • Re:hey, UK (Score:5, Informative)

    by damburger (981828) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @05:50AM (#29282945)

    There you go ladies and gentlemen - the most powerful man in our country, our effective head of state for some issues - voted in by 24278 people in Scotland who, due to the devolved parliament there, will not be affected by many of his decisions anyway.

    Furthermore, he wasn't leader of the Labour party in 2005, so those people did not elected him as PM they elected him as Chancellor.

    This is about as democratic as Iran. Yes, there is technically a vote - but the context of it and result are so warped you cannot really consider it a democratic election.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @05:51AM (#29282947)

    When I buy something expensive from you, like a car, I definitely want to know you own it.

    "Latest gas bill" is, well, not good enough.

    How about the car's registration documents? Are they good enough?

    They always have been thus far, and at present there is no epidemic of people selling cars that don't belong to them.

  • by onion2k (203094) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @05:51AM (#29282949) Homepage

    People have been happily buying and selling cars here in the UK for the past 100 years, all without ID cards. Why do we need them now?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @05:51AM (#29282955)
    Yeah, but the government has a history of leaving this data on trains [theregister.co.uk], mailed second class between offices through Royal Mail [wikipedia.org], or dumped in a stack of boxes on a roundabout in Devon [bbc.co.uk]

    Oh, and sent to Ireland by the DVLA [zdnet.co.uk] where again, it is promptly lost.
  • by damburger (981828) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @05:56AM (#29282979)

    The conservative party? Would this be the same party that used soldiers in surplus police uniforms to put down the miners strike? The same party that used the SAS to carry out extrajudicial executions? That abolished the right to remain silent in police custody?

    The above post is only 'informative' for young people and those with defective memories. Whatever the Tories say is, as it always has been, a lie. Reflect for a moment that the current Labour party got where it was today by imitating the tories...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @06:04AM (#29283031)

    It seems to be overlooked that the opposition Conservative Party [conservatives.com] has also pledged to ditch ID cards.

    You seem to have overlooked the fact that the last Conservative government repeatedly introduced proposals for national ID cards, and were generally even worse than the current lot on civil liberties. There is no reason anyone would believe their pledge.

  • by FourthAge (1377519) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @06:12AM (#29283071) Journal

    Mod parent up.

    There are some Conservatives who oppose ID cards and authoritarian policies, such as David Davis and Daniel Hannan, but they spend most of their time being demonised by the media for being "right wing". Consequently they have no political influence within the party, which is simply New Labour with different people.

  • by damburger (981828) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @06:12AM (#29283073)
    It isn't fair to judge the Tories on their records? Bullshit, it is fair. The Pirate Party are the only ones serious about challenging ID cards; the tories are just making noises about it for political gain.
  • by xaxa (988988) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @06:18AM (#29283095)

    The Green Party are also against ID cards.

    I don't know if there'll be a Pirate Party candidate for me to vote for next year, but if there is I'll seriously think about voting for them instead of the Greens.

  • Re:hey, UK (Score:3, Informative)

    by Angostura (703910) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @06:32AM (#29283153)

    so those people did not elected him as PM they elected him as Chancellor.

    Hmmm, no. They voted for him as their member of parliament. He was chosen as leader by the party members, including the elected MPs.

  • Re:Already Happening (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ragein (901507) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @06:47AM (#29283213)
    I Dislike being modded Troll there, the comment was intended as a frank answer to the article using personal experiance.

    Working within three schools and one other company also requiring a CRB.
  • by cowbutt (21077) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @06:52AM (#29283239) Journal

    The Pirate Party are the only ones serious about challenging ID cards; the tories are just making noises about it for political gain.

    The Lib Dems and Greens are also strongly opposed to 'em, and both are more likely to be in a position to be able to assert power and do something about it. I fear the Pirate Party's obsession with 'free (gratis) stuff' also blinds them to the harm it'll do to Free (libre) software.

  • by xaxa (988988) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @06:55AM (#29283253)

    They've given mostly decent reasons for their opposition: policy (PDF) [greenparty.org.uk]. I don't agree with all of them, but I doubt I'll agree with everything the Pirate Party says.

    The energy solutions of the current government are crap anyway -- massive, inefficient, fossil-fuel power stations. If we're going to burn coal, we should at least be using the "waste" heat to do something useful, like heat homes and factories. Instead of building a massive power plant in the Kent countryside, why not build 10 smaller CHP plants in/near towns?
    This isn't a new idea, my university in central London had a gas (I think) CHP plant, and many towns in the rest of Europe have plants run by power companies powered by various fuels.

    I won't support nuclear power run by a for-profit company either, the clean-up costs come to the taxpayer in the end, so the profits from the generation should too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @07:10AM (#29283321)

    In case you might not grasp the reality of the mission creep which inevitably follows the implementation of any system which potentially trivialises the access to private data, see here how the use of the Oyster card system, ostensibly used to streamline public transport in London, has transformed over the years. Bear in mind that the same system is now being promoted for other cities in the UK:

    2003 - Civil liberties concerns brushed aside [bbc.co.uk]
    2006 - Police increasingly access Oyster travel database [bbc.co.uk]
    2008 - Security service wants full access to whole travel database 2008 [guardian.co.uk]

    Once it is in place, the use of the system will be extended, and it will be well nigh impossible to get rid of. That is guaranteed - unless you raise a storm over it, and truly punish your MP for their behaviour.

    Remember: your MP doesn't care what you think. Except for the two or three months immediately prior to an election, they only care about the organisations who lobby them.

  • by damburger (981828) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @07:30AM (#29283397)
    No, because you got the last 2 wrong
  • by dunkelfalke (91624) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @09:09AM (#29284227)

    And that is a problem with any number used as an ID. Same shit happens with the American SSN.

    Germany has done it right for once: The number of the personal ID card is just a serial number and the date of birth and by itself meaningless. Only the ID card itself can be used as identification so to steal someone's identity the card itself has to be stolen (and it has got a colour photo and the signature on it) AND the thief has to be able to access the victim's mailbox (because his address is on the back side of the ID card).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @09:36AM (#29284557)

    ...the bizarre and unfair policies currently imposed upon the Police.

    The police don't need much imposing to get them to behave bizarrely and unfairly.
    Current 'offences' which they seem very keen on include:
    - Disagreeing politely with a police officer
    - Asking for a police officer's badge number when it has been obscured
    - Photographing a police officer
    - Photographing any form of transport in London
    - Complaining about the police not responding to a serious crime
    - Walking away from a police officer in an insolent manner while not detained (this one carries an instant death sentence)

    Apart from the last case, the reason for arrest and the possible charges seem to mysteriously fade into nothing somewhere after being arrested, fingerprinted and DNA sampled and before any court case actually commences.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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