Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ID Cards and the Police State

The government has announced that residents of Greater Manchester will be able to apply for an ID card and registration on the National Identity Register from 30th November.

The Home Office claims the cards will be secure, though similar cards issued to non-EU foreign nationals were recently cracked and cloned, and police admitted that printers until recently available in high street IT stores were able to produce replicas. The prime selling point now offered is that they will be convenient for young people. But any application involves the individual ‘voluntarily’ joining the National Identity Register database, being fingerprinted, and becoming subject to all present and future regulations issued under the Identity Cards Act 2006.

I'm proud to say that none of my family or friends in Greater Manchester are stupid enough to fall for this, as they didn't fall for the congestion charge the government tried to bully them into. In fact there is a view that the ID card sheme is being foisted on the people of Greater Manchester now as a punishment for voting against the congestion charge.

Reports of the the death of the ID scheme are unfortunately premature.

Gordon Brown's announcement to Labour Conference that "in the next Parliament there will be no compulsory ID cards for British citizens" is the same misleading line that ministers have been using for years — whatever he says about the card, the ID scheme has been designed to force people to 'volunteer' for a system they cannot leave. For all his crowd-pleasing words, you will still be forced to register when you apply for a passport or, in time, any officially-designated document.

Mr Brown's statement, "We will reduce the information British citizens have to give for the new biometric passport to no more than that required for today's passport" cannot be true even if taken literally, since biometric passports must have at least the biometrics (i.e. compulsory fingerprinting) in addition to the information already on existing ones.

The Identity and Passport Service programme to build linked databases – the National Identity Register – that will be shared between the passport and identity schemes, and integrated with the DWP's systems has not been scrapped. And a raft of regulations defining the information to be held and the masses more information involved in the application process were passed earlier this summer. If what Mr Brown says were true, these would be repealed forthwith.

The ID scheme and database state steamroller on, and we cannot afford to let up the pressure.

If you want proof, all you need do is pay attention to Manchester. IPS has not withdrawn its propaganda campaign and is still looking for guinea-pigs. NO2ID's first Stop the ID Card Con campaign events are on 10th October, and it's more important than ever that we counter the government's spin. Please help us spread the word on the streets of the North West and across the country.

The ID scheme is not dead.

The above is from the No2ID website. Here is their summary of the curent state of play with the government's scheme.

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