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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help


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Eleanor, many thanks for the vote of confidence, but you've already discussed most of the points I might have made! A few things I'd like to add:

EDMUND:

"Britain now has security cards for their visitors as well as their nationals"
As Eleanor has said, visitors will not be required to get ID cards. If I recall correctly, this applies to those planning on spending less than three months in the country, thus making ID cards effectively useless at identifying those few foreign nationals who might actually be a threat. However this exemption will certainly not be removed, as it would affect Britain's business interests (many of those who have to travel to Britain on business would refuse to supply the required information, and so would not be allowed to enter the country... thus business would suffer. This is, I assume, the reason for the exemption in the first place).

"Keep the card on you at all time for if you go into a shopping complex without it the barrier will not let you in"... ; "anyone wanted by the police will set an alarm off when entering", etc
But... the current plan explicitly states that the cards will not have to be carried. I agree that this may be a planned future development, but certainly not for some time, and possibly not for decades. Many of the proposed "benefits" you describe have no place within current plans.

"This is all controlled by satellite coverage."
A small point, but: while it is certainly tabled that the cards may use RFID, this cannot possibly make use of 'satellite coverage', to my knowledge - the system just doesn't work that way. What this means is that any tracking (even if the cards had to be carried, which as I said above, they won't) can only be effective within range of RFID transmitters. It's not going to be very many places that can afford that kind of technology. Airports - maybe. Shops - certainly not.

"When they introduced I.D. cards to Internet cafes very few secret messages were sent."
As Eleanor explains above, you are clearly misunderstanding how encryption works. I could very easily sit at my computer (at home; at my own, registered address), send an email to anyone else in the world, and make it completely impossible for anyone to know what I have said. If you're good enough, you can even conceal the identities of the sender and recipient. Proving the identity of the person using a computer at the time cannot make any difference. Besides which (and more fundamentally), there are many legitimate reasons to use encryption!

"what about those social security scams,one person claiming five payments,they have all stopped,saving us millions."
I quote Mr. Lilley, in an extract from one of the Commons Debates: "Of the identified frauds and abuse in my Department only 5 per cent. involve abuse through misrepresentation of identity. The bulk of fraud and abuse is the misrepresentation of circumstances of people whose identity is not in doubt... [so the] gains which might come from a compulsory identity card would probably be very small."

"The tax revenue has increased and the taxes have been reduced."
So, in your conception, how would the country be funding the high costs of running the ID and NIR system itself, then?
Nic Shakeshaft, 11 years ago.

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