March 11, 2007

Surveillance in the UK

Filed under: politics, Surveillance — ubikcan @ 10:37 am

With the coming introduction of a national ID card in Britain, it has been revealed that the “opt-out” provisions are going to result in real restrictions on freedom of movement:

You will be banned from having a passport.

The cards will be introduced in 2009 and will store all kinds of information about you:

People will be required to give fingerprints, biometric details such as a facial scan and a wealth of personal details – including second homes, driving licence and insurance numbers.

All will be stored on a giant ID cards Register, which can be accessed by accredited Whitehall departments, banks and businesses.

If you don’t want this,the result will be that you will have to “forgo” a passport. This means that the UK will join such countries as North Korea and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War in restricting the movement of its citizens. You will be internally confined to the state.

According to the news report linked above, some 6.6 million people apply for a passport every year, and one in eight people say they will refuse to sign up for the card, even if it means facing jail time!

The UK will also require people who do apply for a passport to undergo an interview–or interrogation according to the anti-ID card group NO2ID–at government centers around the country. (This sounds similar to the process of getting a Green Card in the USA.)

This whole thing seems to be a Labour party initiative–both the Tories and the Lib Dems are opposed to it:

Labour has become increasingly obsessed with the introduction of ID cards, claiming they will help to beat fraud and illegal immigration.

But both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have fiercely opposed the scheme, amid concerns costs could spiral out of control.

Academics have predicted the final bill could reach up to £20 billion.


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