Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What is wrong with the ID card?

*NB This is an open email I have sent to a radio presenter named Polly Garside after I was woken with her opinions as to the greatness of ID cards.

UPDATE*** Polly Garside has radically altered her views since recieving this and many other emails detailng the dangers of a compulsary ID card scheme, linked with diabolical legislation to allow the government lock up anybody without charge or trial for an indefinate period of time.

Polly Garside: I think ID cards are great because they would stop underage drinking in pubs

Hello Polly,

Please pass this email to your other presenters too.

I always wake up to your show in the morning and normally really enjoy it. However today I was literally horrified by your comments regarding compulsary bio-metric ID cards. Please let me explain why. I am sorry that the explanation is long, but I
have only just scratched the surface.

OK for those who truly and honestly don't understand what is wrong with the compulsary ID card scheme I shall endeaver to outline it's merits and then clearly
demonstrate the real dangers in it's implementation.

The benefits:

It will eliminate credit card fraud. Well it will cut credit card and debit card fraud. The only way to do this is to produce your ID card at every transaction..
This means that every shop, every travel outlet, everyticket outlet everywhere will have to have a bio-metric ID scanner. You will enter your card into the reader and have an eye or a thumb print scan at the same time. This will mean that you and only you will be able to make the transaction. Hey Ho no more credit card fraud. Wooohoo! But in theory only.

You said it would stop underage drinking? It would stop underage people getting served in pubs.

The bad news is it won't stop an older brother/friend buying alchohol for younger people, or stop kids raiding their parents supplies.

The real bad news is, every shop, travelagent, ticket office, box office, pub, club, etc, will have to have a card reader and scanning device.

The Problems of this : The infrastructure is going to cost a fortune and our taxes will have to go up to pay for it. Currently the government are proposing that it
will cost about 3 Billion pounds. Based on previous, large scale infromation technology projects, This Government has not had any success whatsoever in
establishing these projects to time or to budget. I would estimate that the eventual cost would be more like 9-12 Billion pounds. In addition, it will be
buggy, insecure and fail a lot at the start.

The really, really bad part is this, When you make any transaction, your credit/debit card will be swiped, followed by your ID card and this transaction will be
verified with a bio-metric scan. What happens then? The details of this transaction will be stored in a Government database. Why? So that the Government can
protect us from those evil terrorists. How? Well, the Government will be tracking the transactions carried out in the UK and querying these transactions against
risk metrics to build risk profiles. Certain products, books, videos, dvds, website memberships, club memberships organisations, groups, etc, will be
monitored. Purchasing tickets to certain locations or to see certain speakers give lectures will also be monitored.

These transactions will be risk assessed, and a risk profile of you will be created. Any purchases you make, that the Government defines as risky, will raise
your threat risk level. The Government will be looking for purchases that indicate behaviour that may define a threat. That behaviour could be defined as potential
terrorism, potential serious organised crime, or potential political dissidency.

Do you trust the government with your private data? you may not mind them knowing what you buy at the supermarket, but what about those private purchases,
like sex toys, gambling debts, private club memberships. website memberships. How do you know how your personal data will be stored, used, rated or verified? Will it be kept safe? Will the database be hack proof? If you trust the technology, you may as
well publicly publish your full credtit card information on the internet right now!

The future threat to everyone's liberty:

The Home Secretary has already stated that he would like to be able to track terrorists and arrest them before they commit a crime. The ID card is the tool
that will be used to do that.

So you have a situation whereby your transactions are tracked, a profile is created and a threat assessment is built up. Your entitlements will be based on this,
benefits healthcare and pensions will not be available to you unless you have an ID card. If you have an ID card your threat to the national security of the UK
will be assessed and qualified.

Are you a terrorist?

At this point we need to define what a terrorist is. You will not think that you are one, but how do you know? You do not get to define what a terrorist is,
the Government does
. What is worse is that future Governments get to ammend and add any definition they like. Is there a single, clear definition of a terrorist?

The Government of the UK has not clearly done this, but the main player in the war on terror has. Thanks to the USAPATRIOT act, passed unread by congress.The USAPATRIOT Act, which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terroism, was passed hastily and unread by Congress on Oct. 25, 2001 right after the 9-11 tragedy. It is mislabeled as the
USA Patriot Act.

This American draconian legislation has, in Section 802, a definition of domestic terrorism which defines a terrorist act as: "Any action that endangers human life that is a violation of any federal or state law." Pretty vague that.

This law allows the US government to: Search American homes or offices without the owners knowledge. Monitor their internet use, read their e-mail and examine their online purchases. Wiretap their telephone without a court order. Detain them without access to a lawyer and without charging them with a crime. Monitor their political and religious activities. The UK Government has similar legislation planned. It is
called The Civil Contingencies Bill.

The Civil Contingencies Bill allows for the suspension of elections and the restriction on travel and communication. All it takes is for the Government to
declare a state of emergency. What would cause this State of Emergency? A vague reference to terrorist activity is but one instance.

That's a pretty vague definition and it is The governement that creates law. So if a future Government wished to introduce a law you disagreed with, don't think about protesting against it. Your risk rating will increase. Once the ID entitlement card is in place, the Government will then have the power, should it choose to use it, to prevent you from purchasing things or accessing any Government services. It can prevent you from travelling or communicating with anybody. You will have completely
lost all say as to how you spend your own money. Of course it won't be your money. When the cashless society arrives, you will only be able to make purchases on debit or credit cards. so the money that changes hands will be the banks money.

Does this sound anything remotely like freedom to you?

So you will be tracked and if it seems likely that you may intend to commit a crime that risks the life of another person you could be taken and held without charge or trial indefinately. If you disagree with government policy, you may be held as a potential terrorist. If you travel to the wrong place, buy the wrong books, your risk level increases and you are flagged as a potential threat to the Powers That Be.
You will find your entitlements shrinking until one day, You may just disappear.

Sounds like a good definition of a fascist state to me.

You may think, this cannot happen here, we are a democracy, I trust our Government.

Well, remember Hitler was democratically elected too. His minions burned down the Reischtag, which he then blamed on the communists and declared a state of emergency and brought in the enabling act. Always for the protection of the Fatherland. Slowly over time he introduced more and more powers that reduced individual freedom and liberty. The Germans didn't realise what was going on until it was too late. They
were mislead by anti-terrorist propaganda and told that in order to defend Germany, Poland must be invaded to defeat the Communists and to defeat the foreign threat. The rest is history.

When at school we were tought about the great war, the destruction of Germany and the rise of the third reich, We were also told of words that have stuck with me to this day.:

"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

What would you do if you were in 1930's Germany now? If you knew Hitler was to come to power, what would you do? Are we not faced with a similar possible threat now. The ID card, and the ID chip that will replace it, are the strongest tools in the totalitarian toolkit.

If you trust our Government, then fine. That is your democratic right, but what about a future Government? would you trust Michael Howard with this power? Or any future leader? The power to suspend elections, detain anybody on the suspicion of the intent to commit crime, and the ID card with which to track them.

Remember this is a Government supported by the opposition that deliberately lied to invade a country that was no threat, an invasion that has cost more lives than were taken by the tyrant Saddam Hussien. Innocent women and children have been literally blown to bits, maimed, disfigured and slaughtered. With a Government with such scant regard for human life, even a child's life, how can we trust them to tell the truth on ID cards? or respect our privacy? Who will protect us from their tyranny?

Why do we need it?

Tony Blair has repeatedly before during and after the invasion of Iraq claimed that the invasion will make, us safer.

"We and the world are safer without Saddam Hussein!" he said. Yet in the Queen's speech, "My Government recognises that we live in a time of global uncertainty with an increased threat from international terrorism and organised crime."

Eh? So now we have an "Increased Threat"? Isn't this Tony blair admitting failure in the waronterra and so we have to pay for his immoral policies with reduced liberty?

Once the ID card and the tracking technology is in place, we lose control of what is done with it. The Civil Contingencies Bill, allows the Government carte-blanche to prevent you from exorsising your democratic rights to remove them from office, the
other proposed laws will allow that Government to detain you without proof, evidence, trial or charge.

With laws of this kind seriously being proposed, do you really think the Government is trying to use these laws to protect us from terrorists, or are they going to be used to protect the Government from the people?

Once these tools are in place, we loose the chance to prevent them from being abused. It will be too late.

The ID card does NOT mean tyranny or dictatorship will follow, but once the tracking and entitlement technology is in place, linked with the new laws to track and detain potential threats, then we will then have lost the ability to prevent fascism from taking over.

The totalitarian toolkit will be in place to make it possible for a future leader to take our country into a technologically advanced version of Nazi Germany.

It's too great a price to pay to stop youngsters drinking in pubs.

I cannot think of any other benefit.

It will not stop terrorism.
It will not prevent assylum seekers, but legitimise them.
It will not prevent ID theft, but in the initial stages, make it easier.

As David Blunkett said, "Of course people will produce false ID's to get an ID card, but then they will be stuck with this false ID for life"

What a fantastic way for dangerous criminals to get a whole new clean slate identity all at once.

No! this is too dangerous a measure.

Are we good people or are we going to do nothing?

Each person must decide for themselves.

I say NO to compulsary trackable biometric ID cards!

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