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A new Orwellian age  
Posted by Brigid on December 20 2007, 12:56 » Uploaded 20/12/07 13:11  

Ian Bell, The Herald December 19 2007

[...] After the child benefit fiasco there was a widespread assumption that the government would “think again” over a national identity card. The existence of a sufficient supply of gall was in question. It was almost taken for granted that humbled ministers would understand “A therefore B”. If you cannot manage one set of records, therefore you cannot hope to manage one giant, interlaced system containing all records.

But not a bit of it. The ID card will proceed, they said, after the usual “review”. Britain, almost as one, merely shrugged. We are forever disgorging passwords into a phone-line, forever having our movements tracked by CCTV, forever disclosing our most intimate information to strangers “for security reasons”. A little bit more couldn’t hurt, not if we’re helping to fight terrorism. Or benefit fraud. Or illegal immigration. Or - what’s this week’s horror? [...]

Rest of article...

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Comment 01 – Brian D December 20 2007, 14:01

On the benefit fraud "reason", I had the following letter published in the Guardian:

Dear Editor,
The cost of identity fraud in the benefits system is 400 times less than the potential cost of ID cards, according to recent estimates - ie £50 million (DWP identity-fraud estimate) compared with £19 billion (LSE ID-card estimate). Is this good value for the taxpayer?
(The Guardian, 6/7/2005)

Comment 02 – gwinnie December 20 2007, 20:39

Factoid of the day: the £19 billion estimated by the LSE for an ID card scheme (from Brian's comment above) is £1 billion short of the UK's record-level current account deficit.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/[...]

Comment 03 – Brian D December 21 2007, 17:02

Not to mention the £25 billion of taxpayers' dough gambled on propping up some dodgy bank. The spending on ID cards is a gamble, too, in every sense except making money for the businesses developing the technology (that's a certainty). It's no coincidence that the government likes casinos.

 

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