Archive for the 'database nation' Category

UK: Identity Documents Bill 2010-11: progress report 30 June 2010

June 30, 2010

Having completed its First and Second Readings, the Identity Documents Bill 2010-11 has now reached the Committee stage of its progress through the House of Commons, according to the Parliament UK website.

The committee’s consideration of the Bill is scheduled to be completed on or before 8 July 2010.

Summary of the Bill

The main purpose of this Bill is to abolish identity cards and the National Identity Register; it repeals the Identity Cards Act 2006. There are no provisions for refunding existing cardholders.

A small number of provisions in the 2006 Act – unrelated to ID cards – reappear in the Bill. These cover offences relating to the possession and manufacture of false identity documents such as passports and driving licences. The Bill also re-enacts data-sharing provisions in the 2006 Act designed to verify information provided in connection with passport applications. Identification cards for non-EEA nationals are not affected by the provisions.

The ‘small print’ in the second paragraph of that quote seems to re-confirm that, even though ID cards may be abolished for UK citizens, the national identity database remains in place and, presumably, active.


Cross-posted at The F-Word


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UK: ID cards abolition update

May 27, 2010

By way of a follow-up to my earlier post about the Identity & Passport Service’s post-election announcement about cancelling Identity Cards and the National Identity Register, this post at BBC News online reports the following:

The Home Office is to reveal later how it will abolish the national identity card programme for UK citizens.

The bill, a Queen’s Speech pledge, includes scrapping the National Identity Register and the next generation of biometric passports.

None of the 15,000 people who have voluntarily taken out ID cards since the roll out in Manchester in late 2009, will be refunded the £30 fee.


The cards that are already in circulation will remain legal until Parliament has passed the legislation to abolish them and the register.


Despite the demise of the national identity card, a separate but technically similar scheme for some foreign nationals will continue. That scheme is run by the UK Border Agency and is still being rolled out.

Some 200,000 cards – known as biometric resident permits – have already been given to migrant workers, foreign students and family members from outside the European Economic Area.

But, as NO2ID points out on its website:

The database state is already too much assumed as an administrative goal for it to be killed by the loss of the ID scheme. Even during the election, despite the skepticism of parties now in government, ‘Connecting for Health’ was pushing forward with its plan to control all medical records in England.

Whitehall will not give up these empires without a fight. And the agendas that have been prepared for years may be expected to reappear under new names. The official obsession with identity and information-sharing remains, as does the idea that “personal information is the lifeblood of government”.

Holding the new government to its promise is the first thing. Rolling back the database state will involve more battles.


Cross-posted at The F-Word


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UK: Government to cancel ID cards and the national database?

May 12, 2010

From the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) website:

Both Parties that now form the new Government stated in their manifestos that they will cancel Identity Cards and the National Identity Register. We will announce in due course how this will be achieved. Applications can continue to be made for ID cards but we would advise anyone thinking of applying to wait for further announcements.

Until Parliament agrees otherwise, identity cards remain valid and as such can still be used as an identity document and for travel within Europe. We will update you with further information as soon as we have it.

I can’t help thinking that this simply isn’t going to happen and I wonder which bright spark at the IPS thought it would be amusing to put this up on the website. Time and again party political manifestos have been proved to be worthless documents, full of empty promises made in varying degrees of desperation by cynical and manipulative politicians to try and con gullible voters ahead of an election.

No, for one thing, too much has already been spent on this and, let’s be honest, the ID cards aspect is only the tabloid-friendly xenophobic dog whistle, the diversionary tactic, to distract attention from the implementation of the national database so necessary to the creation of the totalitarian state so beloved of central government. Also, the national database is already live – and potentially too lucrative – to the control freaks who run the country for them to just abandon it. Additionally, the whole thing is too closely linked to the whole biometrics/”national security” issue for one to be scrapped whilst retaining the other – I mean, where would all those body scanner images from airport passport control be stored if the national database was deleted?

Government to cancel ID cards and the national database? Yehrite…


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Here’s looking at you, kid

December 6, 2009

There’s a bit of a fuss in the news today about a letter apparently written by HM Queen Elizabeth to newspaper and magazine editors about paparazzi photographers “intruding on the royal family’s privacy” ahead of its traditional Christmas break at Sandringham.

“Members of the royal family feel they have a right to privacy when they are going about everyday, private activities,” said Paddy Harverson, spokesman for the queen’s son Prince Charles. [Reuters]

Well, Mr Harverson, there are those of us with far less power and privilege who feel the same way – but our feelings on the matter have been ignored in favour of the creation of a surveillance society (with all its links to the database state) by means – not of paparazzi photographers – but of CCTV cameras. Whilst nobody knows the exact number of cameras in operation in public spaces in Britain (David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, notably suggested “a CCTV camera for every 14 citizens”), there can surely be no disputing the fact that there has been a huge increase in the numbers in recent years. If only the general public could write similar letters to the watchers – and feel confident that our requests would be heeded.

And I don’t want to hear about how public figures “have a right to privacy” simply because they’re public figures – when the rest of us voice our wish to the same rights, we are told that if we’re doing nothing wrong then we have nothing to hide, and therefore nothing to fear from the intrusion. In this much-vaunted democratic society of ours, I can think of no convincing reason why there should be one rule for the wealthy and powerful and another rule for the rest of us.