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UK MPs Approve Compulsory ID Cards

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the skiing-down-the-slippery-slope dept.

Privacy 679

Idimmu Xul writes "BBC News is reporting that the UK House of Commons has approved legislation making identity cards compulsory." From the article: "The plans, rejected by peers last month, will now go back before the House of Lords. Tories warned of "creeping compulsion" and Lib Dems said the "fight against compulsory ID cards" would go on."

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Cheerio, pip pip! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711167)

quite gay. fp. owned. englis h arer gayj!L!!HL! LOL!!!

Only compulsory when applying for a passport (5, Informative)

Elessar (8997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711170)

Actually it is only compulsory when applying for a passport. It will not be compulsory otherwise.

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711216)

The real question is, will it be compulsory to apply for an ID card? Cuz that'd be a bummer...

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (2, Interesting)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711598)

The real question is, will it be compulsory to apply for an ID card? Cuz that'd be a bummer...

okay,, both the article and the parent post stated that the id card was only mandatory for people applying for passports...

so, the situation is this: you submit to enumeration by the state or you are not allowed to leave the country.

i submit that before 2008 we'll see people 'defecting' from britain.

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (1)

ChubZee (855708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711221)

The worry is they can legislate later to make them compulsory... and at an estimated cost of £30 a time, they're not exactly going to be cheap. Buy one with your passport and you're looking at £93, thats 2 full days work for me!

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (3, Insightful)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711253)

I'd rather rephrase it like this "Actually it is only compulsory when applying for a passport. It will not be compulsory otherwise for now". Once the system is in place, its only a matter of time when it becomes common place. All they have to do is prove to public that they either caught a terrorist or prevented a subway bomb somehow. Fear is the easiest thing to sell to public.

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711362)

All they have to do is prove to public that they either caught a terrorist or prevented a subway bomb somehow.

Why bother with proof? They've made no such proof as yet but are still being successful in pushing this stuff through simply by stating that it could catch a terrorist or prevent a subway bomb. A couple more news articles stating that it will prevent terrorism and the public will be convinced and demand ID cards immediately.

Nice.

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (3, Insightful)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711304)

So, in other words, it's compulsory.

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (2, Funny)

Vanders (110092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711451)

Well that's O.K then, because I never need to renew my passport. I also trust the government to not abuse such a scheme and I'm totally confident in their ability to competent and cost effective contractors such as EDS to implement the ID card database and biometric identification system.

Excuse me one moment. Nurse! It's time for my medication!

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (1)

uzusan (951058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711470)

i remember seeing a while back an article on bbc news that said that some major companies in the uk will be asking for the new id whenever an applicant applies for a job. so while it is not compulsory to buy one, you'll probably need one if you ever need a new job. recently privacy seems to be eroding in europe (and the uk in particular), what with the recent vote to force isp's to retain data for up to 6 months on every user (approved in december), privacy rights seem to be going down the drain.

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (1)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711524)

But of course, dear boy, each employer in the UK is liable for staggering fines if they employ someone who is an illegla immigrant. So although it is not required that you produce an ID card, what employer will take the chance?

Re:Only compulsory when applying for a passport (5, Insightful)

IIH (33751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711495)

Actually it is only compulsory when applying for a passport. It will not be compulsory otherwise.

So if you disagree with the idea, you can't even leave the country. Nice.

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Jeian (409916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711175)

Sorry, I had to.

Excuse the ignorance of an ex-colonist... (2, Interesting)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711177)

But I have to ask. Is there any legal recourse if this is passed into law? Any equivilent of the US Supreme Court?

Re:Excuse the ignorance of an ex-colonist... (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711235)

no but maybe a few illegal riots will do the trick a la poll tax

Re:Excuse the ignorance of an ex-colonist... (2, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711411)

Yes, you can challenge the law itself in .... the House of Lords :) While the lower courts deal with application of the law, if you take the case to the House of Lords, they deal with the validity of the law as applied (if they choose to hear the case that is).

Re:Excuse the ignorance of an ex-colonist... (2, Informative)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711599)

The first part of what you said is misleading: the house of lords cannot thwart the will of parliament, with the sole exception (and this is very recent) of those cases that impact the European Convention of Human Rights. The final statement you make ("they deal with the validity of law as applied") is kind of right of you mean they interpret what parliament ment when it passed the law.

Re:Excuse the ignorance of an ex-colonist... (1)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711428)

There's the Law Lords who are really just a subset of the House of Lords who serve a similar function to the Supreme Court. There's also the European Court of Justice.

Re:Excuse the ignorance of an ex-colonist... (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711603)

I don't know that the ECoJ can do a hell of a lot in this case. Britain's already willing to pull out of the european convention on human rights so they can deport people to be tortured overseas.

Re:Excuse the ignorance of an ex-colonist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711468)

No there is not. The UK Parliment is the supreme law [wikipedia.org] of the land.

Re:Excuse the ignorance of an ex-colonist... (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711476)

No. It IS the law. We have to wait until we can vote our Bair and his "Two legs baaad - four legs good" cronies, and re-elect the totally corrupt and morally bankrupt tories instead. I doubt the gay vote is enough to get the LibDems in, but I could be wrong. (The Scots voted Gay a few days ago, and they are not noted for doing so.)

Remember what Franklin said? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711183)

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety are probably British and should be shot at."

Re:Remember what Franklin said? (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711243)

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety are probably British and should be shot at."

Didn't he also say "Identity cards will become easy targets for identity thieves and hackers??"

Re:Remember what Franklin said? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711572)

I'd like to hear how precisely this is going to even provide any temporary safety. The whole scheme smacks of government moving closer towards the goal of managing our lives from the birth to death. "Oh, it will make you safer" "Oh it will make things more convenient" and on and on it goes. I think there's a very good argument for making things inconvenient for governments. That's why we have warrants and the like, to limit the ability of the state to trample over its citizens. Sadly, though, most people are simply sheep, and will do whatever the Authorities want, rather than saying "Fuck you and your ID cards" in one large gust of indignation. Let Labour put that in their pipe and smoke it.

Am I Alone in Thinking This is a Good Thing? (4, Funny)

egg troll (515396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711186)

I'm all for anything that will stop terrorism. I think people who are afraid of this are only those with something to hide. Honest, law-abiding citizens have no need to fear this legislation passed by our benevolent and wise MPs.

Re:Am I Alone in Thinking This is a Good Thing? (4, Insightful)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711284)

I'm all for anything that will stop terrorism.

Anything? How about summary executions or travel document requirements for movement between cities? Maybe you would prefer racial profiling and detention camps? Drastic enough measures will stop terrorism, but at what price?

Re:Am I Alone in Thinking This is a Good Thing? (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711319)

Honest, law-abiding citizens have no need to fear this legislation passed by our benevolent and wise MPs.

I took your post seriously, until I saw this. This whole post must be sarcastic.

Re:Am I Alone in Thinking This is a Good Thing? (1)

davros866 (812083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711459)

Yes you are alone.

Re:Am I Alone in Thinking This is a Good Thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711577)

Of course he's not alone. Big Brother is always watching.

Is it 1984 yet? (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711187)

> "I think we've won the argument on it. People have this idea that there's a problem in civil liberties with people having an identity card and an identity registered today when across all walks of our life this is happening.
>
> "And with the real problems people have today with identity fraud, which is a major, major issue; illegal immigration; organised crime: it's just the sensible thing to do."

Because having an identity card - that you have to carry with you at all times - is the sensible solution to the problem of identity theft. Because we all know that nothing you carry with you 24/7/365 can ever be stolen.

"I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The US Government will lead the American people - and the West in general - into an unbearable hell and a choking life."

- Osama bin Goldstein, ca. November 2001

Re:Is it 1984 yet? (1)

perky (106880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711269)

Having your identity card stolen != having your identity
stolen.

Re:Is it 1984 yet? (1)

Diego_27182818 (174390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711327)

Except if it now if everyone has identity cards - if you don't have you, then obviously you are a terrorist. You need to be arrested until your "real" identity can be determined.

Re:Is it 1984 yet? (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711393)

> Having your identity card stolen != having your identity stolen.

Neither is having your driver's license, credit card, bank statement, passport, or social security number stolen. Any one of the above would make for a pretty fucking good starting point for an identity thief, though.

Kindly explain to me how putting all of the above onto the same card makes it harder, instead of easier, for an identity thief to do his work.

Well, not quite (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711198)

To be fair, in order for them to become compulsory, they'll have to go back and get legislation passed through both houses. Of course, anyone who gets their passport renewed will be required to get an ID card anyway (which in the UK is a large percentage of the population) so they'll be compulsory in everything but name.

Either way, it's a massive blow for civil rights in this country - they'll be storing obscene amounts of personal information, including the buzz-word of the moment, 'biometrics' in a central database that will need to be accessable by essentially every government department. Given this government's record for IT projects, I'm almost looking forward to the ID cards being introduced just to see how spectacularly the whole system fails.

Re:Well, not quite (1)

chrisblore (866716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711513)

To my mind, they will be compulsory because there is a sizeable majority of people who have passports and therefore will be obliged to join this 'Big Brother' scheme. This now makes it more difficult for those such as myself that can't wait to emigrate and leave this country that now truly deserves the name 'rip-off Britain'!

Re:Well, not quite (4, Informative)

deacon (40533) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711531)

Especially chilling considering how the police are retaliating against people who make official complaints about police brutality.

Here is a page of peaceful, middle-class English protesters who have been beaten bloody.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gall/0,8542,1305225,00.h tml [guardian.co.uk]

Here is an article documenting their continued persecution, due to their daring to speak out against police brutality:

http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:ccgGv54ab-wJ: www.horseandhound.co.uk/competitionnews/article.ph p%3Faid%3D62246+Hunt+supporters+who+made+complaint s+against+the+police+officers'+behaviour+in+Parlia ment+Square+last+September+are+now+being+arrested+ for+public+order+offences&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1 [64.233.179.104]

Another example of police terrorizing their critics:

http://prisonerjw7874.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Despite all the jokes about "McChimpyBushHitler", it is interesting to see how US critics of the US State get rich and famous, while critics of the British State get their heads bashed in...

Hopefully something will change before it is too late.

Re:Well, not quite (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711564)

So you're not required to carry one, and only required to have one if you want a passport (which, admittedly is a lot of people)?

I like your "vulnerable database" argument, but realistically, eveyrone's government will accumulate this sort of data eventually, and the real argument is that such databases need better security.

The slippery slope [wikipedia.org] argument that others are making (and make everytime this topic comes up) that "good ID cards are the first step to governments abusing ID cards" I find unconvincing, however. If I'm worried that my government will make me *carry* an ID around with me everywhere (already the case in some states in the US), I'd rather it were a *good* ID - the harder to fake, the better. Is there a scenario in which the givernment mis-uses ID cards in which we're better off with a *bad* ID card?

Does anyone really think that good ID cards are somehow required before the government can do stupid tricks with ID cards? The government will do stupid things whether the ID cards are harder or easier to forge - having a better ID card doesn't do anything to bring those abuses closer, because the goverment will abuse you in *either case*.

Bad movie script? (5, Insightful)

Nevtje(hr (869571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711201)

"Sir, may I please see your ID?"

-Umm, I forgot it at home.

"Did you forget it at home or are you an illegal immigrant?"

-No, seriously, I forgot it at home!

"Right."

Officers club down suspect and drag him to jail.

I can only assume this is to counter illegal immigrants- and homeless people? Any regular citizen cannot not have an ID (job, bank transfers, rent etc).

Re:Bad movie script? (2, Insightful)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711370)

This is England you are talking about. Real illegal imigrants and criminals will buy fake ID cards on e-bay. Organised crime will mass produce them, and the related database will be hacked by almost everyone before EDS can get it working properly.

Only honest citizens will be jailed.

But dont worry. If they complain they can be charged with the new offence of "Glorifying someone other than Tony Bliar" and jailed for 90 days without trial - More if Muslim or Christian or not actually unemployed, slightly less for farm animals and lawyers (if there is a difference).

Re:Bad movie script? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711485)

We don't jail Muslims, no matter how much they break the law. They're allowed to get away with whatever they like, you only get arrested if you're a native to this country now.

Re:Bad movie script? (4, Informative)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711615)

Hack? Who needs to hack? Terrorists in the UK have already gained access to our driving license database for a period of years thru a symathizer in the DVLA (our version of the DMV) and used it to target victims. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/3 951945.stm [bbc.co.uk] for more details.

Re:Bad movie script? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711527)

Since when do paranoid fantasies count as "insightful"?

  • The ID cards are not compulsory to be carried, they are compulsory to get a new passport
  • Even if they were compulsory to be carried, the police wouldn't "club you down" if you didn't have it
  • You don't need an ID card to get a job
  • You don't need an ID card to make bank transfers
  • You don't need an ID card to pay rent

It sounds like Nevtje(hr has read the headline, made up the worst possible scenario he could think of, and assumed that is what has happened. This should be -1, Utterly Disconnected From Reality.

Re:Bad movie script? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711580)

My girlfriend didn't have an ID for about a year after she was robbed at gunpoint outside of her home state, because we didn't have most of the necessary things for her to get a new one. We finally were able to get her one when the Voting ID bus came to our town* (and parked way out on the outskirts of town so that to get to it...you had to be in a car), and the people running it didn't check everything that they were supposed to.

* My state tried to pass a mandatory voter's ID law a while back, IIRC it's still up in the air. They sent a bus around so that they could take away any excuses people would have. We had to get her an ID so that she could start college and find a job.

Posting as AC for a few different reasons.

/ACLU. (0, Flamebait)

korekrash (853240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711202)

/ACLU. The new and improved format of /.

Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (4, Insightful)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711207)

What the hell is wrong with England?!? You people invented modern democratic society and civil rights, and you've been happily flushing it down the drain, piece by piece, ever since the end of WWII. (Would you really be any worse off at this point if the Nazis had won?) Gun control, CCTV, now ID cards--every time I look at America's problems, I can always cheer myself up by remembering that whatever we're doing wrong, you're guaranteed to do something worse.

And what kind of politics have you got going now where the Conservatives are for civil liberties and Labour are the fascists? That's just bizarre.

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711240)

I think you're confusing 'Labour' with 'New Labour' - making the BNP look decidedly left wing since 1997

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (2, Insightful)

john83 (923470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711254)

Not to respond to flamebait, but their fascists are to the left of your lefties. Gun control is a civil liberties issue in England? I think not. CCTV is a (non-)issue everywhere, and this is probably going to be rejected by the Lords.

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (2, Insightful)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711377)

Gun control

You obviously don't realize that the United Staties is almost the only country in the world where "gun control" is an issue. In most countries you can't just walk into a store, purchase a shotgun & shells, then carry the firearm right out of the door with you.

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711523)

unsurprisingly, United States is where people have the most rights. Show me a country with gun control, and I'll show you a country where the government has too much control over people's lives. Between the socialist Europe and the criminal rest-of-the-world, United States is where the government does not treat you like a schoolchild.

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (2, Insightful)

cornface (900179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711525)

You obviously don't realize that the United Staties is almost the only country in the world where "gun control" is an issue. In most countries you can't just walk into a store, purchase a shotgun & shells, then carry the firearm right out of the door with you.

There is an excellent historical reason for this, although sadly, most people have forgotten it.

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (4, Interesting)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711537)

In most countries you can't just walk into a store, purchase a shotgun & shells, then carry the firearm right out of the door with you.
 
Remember, the United States is a big place. You'd only be able to walk out of the store on the same day, provided you pass the instant background check AND you're in a state that does not impose its own waiting period. Add to that various local restriction on the purchase of ammo.

However, yes, there are places in the US where you can walk into your local hardware or sporting goods store in the morning, pick up a shotgun, a box of shells, and some clays, and drop by the local range in the afternoon. Unfortunately, with urban creep, and the diaspora of urbanites who tend to bring their laws with them, these places are starting to become fewer and fewer.

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (1)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711592)

A shotgun is a poor example to begin with. Pretty much nobody commits crimes with shotguns, although Dick Cheney seems to be close in that department (news.google his name today if you don't get it).

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711391)

Conservatives are for civil liberties

I think you will find their policies involve taking liberties.

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (1)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711404)

You people invented modern democratic society and civil rights, and you've been happily flushing it down the drain, piece by piece, ever since the end of WWII. (Would you really be any worse off at this point if the Nazis had won?)

Depends. Are you Jewish? If so, you're likely going to be somewhat worse off. Is it possible to be angry at the loss of freedoms in the UK or the US without resorting to hyperbole?

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (1)

sysopd (617656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711436)

What the hell is wrong with England?!? You people invented modern democratic society and civil rights, and you've been happily flushing it down the drain, piece by piece, ever since the end of WWII.
That is exactly the problem- a democracy is mob rule, rights be damned. If the masses can be purchased or persuaded into giving away their rights or the rights of a minority, piecemeal, for safety or noble ideals you end up with a dictatorship. After all the people no longer have any rights.

The founding fathers of the US constitution warned against democracies for this reason, which is why they created a consitutionally bound limited republic. A republic which has been gradually moving towards a democracy which can be controlled by a people that have been tricked into caring about false left/right debates and gladitorial circus grandeur.

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (1)

GenKreton (884088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711440)

The ancient Greeks invented the modern society essentially. Sparta had the first real social contract for its citizens. Athens is set on a pedestal of the herald of democracy. England in the eyes of many is merely seen as a constant oppressor to the advancement of these ideals throughout their history. Sure they made some progress, but one step forward and two steps back is hardly anything to give them credit for.

Re:Not to Ask For Flamebait, But... (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711475)

It's not like this is the first thing you've heard about UK oppression. There was that memo [indiana.edu] sent out... about 220 years ago.. you must have not gotten it. It's even in my sig!

England invented democracy? (2, Funny)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711607)

Have you read Edmund Burke's [wikipedia.org] Reflections on the French Revolution [bartleby.com] ? England lasted as a Republic for only eleven years between 1649 and 1660. King Charles II took care of that little rabble rousing "social experiment." All hail the King!!!

Papers, please. (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711213)

I don't get it. Did the British learn nothing from World War II?!

Re:Papers, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711260)

WW II ended 61 years ago. Most of the people who learned anything from it are either dead or over 70 years old.

Which is a shame.

Re:Papers, please. (1)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711345)

Least this time the'll have our DNA on file, so when the goverment goes against an ethnic group, the'll be no escape *hopes geeks don't have a genitic group*

Re:Papers, please. (3, Informative)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711388)

Do you really believe that during WW2 that suspicious citizenry were not required to prove their identities in order to prove they weren't German spies?

British counter-intelligence was incredible during WW2. There are reasons for that. Many, many times 'privacy concerns' were flatly ignored by both the Brits and the US. Stuff that would make this current 'wiretapping' business, or ID cards look like nothing.

It's easy to look back on WW2 as a battle of freedom vs dictatorship, but in reality it was far more complex than that, and basic human rights regarding privacy, torture, etc were broken on all sides, not just by the nazis.

Re:Papers, please. (3, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711467)

The UK had ID cards during WW2, so your point may not be as valid as you think.

Commons? (2, Interesting)

airship (242862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711219)

Isn't Britain's House of Commons somewhat akin to the U.S. House of Representatives, in that they are always passing lots of ill-thought-out, brain-dead legislation that their wiser, older brothers in the other house (Lords for them, the Senate for us) has to vote down?

Re:Commons? (2, Informative)

Spad (470073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711276)

Yes and no. The lords will almost certainly strike down any crazy legislation that the government tries to put through, however, as Tony Blair proved with the Fox Hunting Ban, if the Lords block him repeatedly he'll just force the legislation through under the Parliament Act [schoolnet.co.uk] .

Re:Commons? (4, Informative)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711368)

unfortunately (or not depending on the law) the House of Commons has the suprime authority over all issues and can use the Parliament Act of 1947 to push a law through that the Lords reject after 3 tries to get it through regularly. the system is different in this respect; the house of representatives can't over-rule the Senate.

Still if you think thats a bad system the Prime Minister could pass the law overnight, all he'd need is to get the Privy Council (which is made up of cabinet ministers - some past and present - and a few others) to agree and then the Queen to sign it (still the Queen can refuse to sign any law and then it doesn't become law - a power which hasn't been used since queen Anne - but still exists). Then it'd be law tomorrow... and the best thing is we don't need to worry about the seperation of powers or people's rights... oh, wait...

House of Lords, et al (1)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711553)

The Government has been itching to abolish the House of Lords and replace it with elected (read: identical) officials. The last thing we need is for the one last group of semi-independent observers to be kicked out in favour or a bunch of clones and sheep.


(The HoL isn't perfect, but the theory of having wholly independent mechanisms in the checks and balances seems to be sounder than having the US system where money can buy you everything.)


The Queen could refuse to sign, but the Government wants to replace her, too. Besides, as nobody sees the Queen sign anything, who's to say that the PM doesn't have a rubber stamp with her signature etched on it? It's not as if she is in a position to complain!


(I like democracy, but I utterly reject the notion that you can have truly independent segments of Government with true separation of powers when those segments exist in a wholly co-dependent, master-slave relationship.)

Re:Commons? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711575)

We have executive orders which are probably worse in many ways. Executive orders are issued by the president, with no other approval required. They can only be issued to governmental agencies, but since federal law enforcement is a government agency, it basically gives the president nearly unlimited, mostly unchecked, power.

Sure congress can rewrite the laws to specifically forbid the action in the executive order, but the president has supreme veto power, so he can veto the amendment.

There's not even public notification for executive orders that concern "national security", so there's an entire body of secret laws out there, that no one can know if they violate or not until the FBI shows up.

You can challenge them in court, but the supreme court has only rarely struck down executive orders.

Re:Commons? (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711452)

The process as it is now:

First reading: Commons propose the bill.

Second reading: Lords point out that the bill is generally undesirable, and much of the wording is either ambiguous or meaningless.

Third reading:Bill returns to the commons, where the Lords are overruled on the grounds that they are old codgers.

"if" it passes the third reading, it becomes law. (There is no "else").

I just hope the House of Lords kicks it back again (4, Interesting)

dan dan the dna man (461768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711257)

They have already and mainly (from the debate that I heard) on the basis of this 'creeping compulsiom' - ie if you apply for a passport your name goes on the register, and then after a while a compulsory card is issued.

The British public were told this was an 'opt in' system. I have to travel abroad to work effectively. This gives me no choice at all.

I have already signed the No2ID [no2id.co.uk] refuse pledge, and I will do everything in my personal power to prevent myself from ending up with one of these.

I feel disgusted that my government feels free to treat me like a criminal in my own country. They want ID cards, they want to take my DNA if I'm arrested for a crime I haven't committed, cameras on the roads tracking vehicles.

If the Tories pledge next election to scrap the legislation altogether, I'll vote for them on that basis alone. And.. I just don't vote that way... but the Blairite government deserve a kicking for the way they've treated the electorate since they arrived.

Re:I just hope the House of Lords kicks it back ag (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711488)

FTFA: "The only way in which people will be able to opt out of the system is by giving up their right to travel abroad.

Parent: The British public were told this was an 'opt in' system. I have to travel abroad to work effectively. This gives me no choice at all.

This isn't meant for you. This is to track a certain portion of your population that, let's say, doesn't like cartoons. This is an excuse to track their traveling. Unfortunately, honest folks are being caught up in this just to track some assholes.

Re:I just hope the House of Lords kicks it back ag (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711512)

I think I'd better go sign No2ID myself. I also intend to write to all of my local MPs (& potential MPs) and make it clear that at the next general election I intend to vote for the first party who make getting rid of ID cards (100% outright) an election pledge.

Poor British citizens, their government's watching (4, Insightful)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711270)

ID Cards for the Brits, wait, here's why they can get angry!

From the Association of British Drivers press release [abd.org.uk] : "The EU is already planning to use Galileo to enforce continental-wide road tolling, and the car-hating British government wants to be first. You won't be able to drive anywhere without the EU knowing where you are going, who you are travelling with, and what speed you are travelling at."

Got Mine! (5, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711281)

.. and it looks great. What's this antenna sticking out of it?

YRO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711290)

How does this affect my rights online?

Stupid paranoia with ID cards. (1, Insightful)

Blaskowicz (634489) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711293)

What the hell do US and UK people have against a national ID card? It's just a mean of proving your identity, here in France we've had it for well, decades before I were born. A driver license can be equally used. At least, unlike in the US, people without driver license have papers.

Re:Stupid paranoia with ID cards. (2, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711340)

It's not the card, it's the vast amount of personal data that the government is going to be linking to the card.

Re:Stupid paranoia with ID cards. (1)

dago (25724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711616)

to the card ? Do you think the US or the UK government is waiting on ID cards to link informations about individuals ???

The social security number is uniquely (well...) identifying people in the USA for decades ... I guess you can find the similar in UK.

Re:Stupid paranoia with ID cards. Redux (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711379)

Parent is right on.

I'm not sure what anyone gets out of the "oh no!" posts that are generated with these articles.

Information about your private activities is already for sale to most public agencies. Now they want to give you a shiny card with biometric authentication. What's changed?

Re:Stupid paranoia with ID cards. Redux (2, Insightful)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711448)

"What's changed?"

American Express don't throw you into jail if you cut up their card and throw it away.

An ID card has nothing in common with a credit card. They just happen to be the same size.

Re:Stupid paranoia with ID cards. (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711397)

Actually, if you don't have a license in the US, you can get a non-drivers license government issued photo ID as a replacement. Lots of old people who can't drive anymore have them. Of course it's not compulsory, and most places go out of their way to give you alternate means of identification if you don't have one for whatever reason (you'll see wording like: Provide one from column A (which has passport, drivers license, government photo ID, military ID, etc...) or two from column B (bank statements, credit cards, etc...).

That said, there are some things that will stop you dead if you don't have a government issued photo ID. Entering most military bases for one. Buying alcohol or cigarettes or going into an R rated film for another.

Re:Stupid paranoia with ID cards. (1)

Da Zeg (946564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711462)

The point is I already have a drivers license, and a passport. These ARE enough to prove my identity. Not only is it an infringement of civil liberties and a stealth tax, to force me to pay for an id card. It's a pointless excersise where the risks far outweigh any possible gains.

Re:Stupid paranoia with ID cards. (5, Insightful)

kyb (877837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711487)

You may find this page [preventgenocide.org] useful in understanding why it's perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of ID cards.

It's the nature of governments to continually increase their power, and it's the responsibility of the people to limit a governments power to the absolute minimum required to fulfill its function.

Remember as well, when you give a government that you trust powers, you aren't just giving them the powers, but also all the future governments that you may or may not trust.

Why should I need to show papers to authorities when I'm walking down the street? Is the street theirs and I get to walk on it only at their sufferance, or are they my servants that exist to make sure that I can walk down the street freely?

Re:Stupid paranoia with ID cards. (3, Interesting)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711563)


What the hell do US and UK people have against a national ID card? It's just a mean of proving your identity, here in France we've had it for well, decades before I were born. A driver license can be equally used. At least, unlike in the US, people without driver license have papers.


Perhaps it's because many of us grew up with movies depicting SS guards demanding to see the papers of French citizens in order to stomp out resistence.

How quaint (4, Insightful)

big c0ward (935848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711317)

ID cards? How pleasantly old fashioned. Wouldn't compulsory RFID implants make so much more sence?

Re:How quaint (1)

tradiuz (926664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711498)

I'm just afraid of my subcutaneous RFID card ringing up as a pack of Ho-Ho's at WalMart.

impractical (2, Insightful)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711363)

Given the population of 60 million people and taking some very conservative estimates there will be about 20 million card updates a year (people move, people die, new cards for kids, replacements for lost cards and there is a requirement to renew each card every 10 years no matter what.)

That's about 100,000 card updates per working day.

Does anybody think that there will be any kind of real checks performed on those updates?

Re:Not impractical! (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711432)

There is already a large industry that can produce this kind of volume.

Do you own a debit/credit card? One of their worst-case-scenarios they manage well at a gigantic scale is identical cards in the field.

They've got the software to manage them all too.

Done.

Re:Not impractical! (1)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711490)

The credit card companies don't give a damn about what you look like, your finger prints or the colour of your eyes. The CCCs don't require you to turn up at their offices and provide proof that you exist. The CCCs don't throw you into jail because you refuse an offer of a card. The CCCs don't have vast amounts of tax information and criminal records.

Doesn't the US Real ID act (1)

Fuzzball963 (887814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711383)

Also mandate that it's compulsary to have your ID on you at all times? Or is it mainly compulsory to have it if you're going on a bus/plane/train ? I for one have absolutely no problem with showing ID to police or other goverment entities if it's required. Nor would I have a problem with CCTV being implemented on a large scale within the US as I have no expectation of privacy while outside my own home anyway.

progress (1)

rd4tech (711615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711419)

Not to get into this whole flame war about pros and cons of One-Card-That-Does-It-All, but these kinds of things are only to be expected. If the technology can do it, people will start thinking about it, even people who have the legislative power. GB wants to have the one card, France wants to somewhat legalize P2P, it's called progress, it has good and bad sides, get used to it.

Re:progress (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711576)

it's called progress, it has good and bad sides, get used to it.

If it's bad it's not progress; it's just change.

TWW

Can someone catch me up? (2, Interesting)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711425)

I've not been paying attention to this piece of government legislature, and I don't feel like pouring through news archieves to get the whole store.; can someone get me (and those in the same situation) up to speed on exactly what this is all about? The article stated some sides, and that people are protesting, but not what exactly they found bad about the ID cards.

Personally, I don't see a government ID as a bad thing; while it would be another piece of information to worry about, it would allow people to dissassociate themselves with their SSN (at least, in the states,) to companies. This would greatly decrease identity theft; if someone got your National ID number and went to town getting credit cards, there would be some process where they'd have to prove to the government (perhaps through the companies, perhaps not) that they are who they claim, using the SSN (and, upon failing, would be arrested). If someone did swipe your NID, then you'd prove that you're you, get a new NID, and have the old one invalidated.

While it wouldn't be impossible for someone to get both the National ID and SSN, it would add an extra layer of personal protection, and be that much harder. To add to this, SSNs would only go on important government documents; non-public military files, tax forms, FBI records, etc.

Unless they're implanting RFID tags or something into these cards, I don't see where the great harm is coming from. It would be no different than having your drivers liscense or SSN now.

It has begun (1)

IIH (33751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711471)

Operation "Barcode Britain" has begun

Now if they would just place it... (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711504)

on our body somewhere, say on our foreheads and make it machine readable--like a tatto or something.

That would be cool.

Vacation time! (1)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711519)

Hey guys, please let me know when Hate Week [wikipedia.org] starts.

I'd like to visit Airstrip One [wikipedia.org] before I'm re-educated.

Ahem. "we have always been at war with islam....."

It's an ID card. (1)

salparadyse (723684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711543)

Not the Mark of the Beast. (Unless I can't go to work/shopping without one, then it's brown trouser time).The problem comes when they claim it will stop terrorism - like in Spain, where it didn't. The biggest problem comes with the cost per citizen and inevitability of it all being messed up and going hopelessly over budget and not working anyway.
And it will give the police even more of an excuse to be over the top and oppressive with anyone who "might be an immigrant".
There'll be tears before bedtime over all this.

My Worry. (2, Insightful)

Galston (895804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711561)

I live in the UK and my major worry is that when I get an ID card it could easily end up getting lost or stolen.

These cards aren't like credit cards where you can phone up you bank and get it canceled making the card useless, once it is stolen some crook will have all the information that they could possibly want about you. While it is easy to change the pin number for a debit or credit card you can't go and change your biometrics everytime your card is stolen.

"Hello, I would like to report my ID card as stolen."

"That is fine sir. Can we arrange a time to burn off you finger prints and laser you eyes?"

Rationalise Gov't Departments (1)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711571)

If they introduce yet another identification system, it would make more sense to integrate it with the drivers license & NHS/medicare/whatever identification systems.

I can't believe the depths of inefficiency that government can go.

In Victoria, Australia, Vicroads, the motor vehicle licensing body also administers boat operators licenses. Rather than add an endorsement code to an existing piece of plastic, they issue a completely new one. Very nearly identical to the driver's license plastic (except the colour), right down to the license id number. Yes, I am one and the same customer, but I have to carry two bits of plastic in my wallet. Not sure which I'd present if I was driving an amphibious vehicle...

So what if? (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711611)

so what if like me, you already have a full passport with your name and picture in it, and a full driving licence with your name, address and picture in it?
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