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

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The problem with ID cards is how they fit with other legislation.

Id cards give the Home Secretary information on everyone including all addresses, religion, medical records and how they voted at the last election.

Terrorism laws means that the Home Secretary can have someone arrested and detained without trial indefinately based on no evidence and no judicial oversight.

Since absolutely no Home Secretary in recent history has ever absued his position to, say, push through a visa application, its quite natural to trust him with information on anyone and the power to arrest anyone. Its therefore quite natural to fear the Home Secretary will, unintentionally of course, pick certain annoying campaigners and detain them as terrorists.

Afterall, you never know when animal rights protesters might hijack an aeroplane and fly it into Parliament. And those Fathers 4 Justice campaigners may at any time decide to let off a dirty bomb. Plus, the links between Amnesty International and Bin Laden are well known from these secret intelligence reports.

Or are we suggesting to enforce racial profiling? We all know that only Arabs could let off a bomb and only East Europeans fraudulantly claim benefits. And only teenagers vandalise and only white people are racist. It would make the courts so much cheaper!

The civil service has a long history of being wowed by High Tech new technology (since they fear being called old fashioned) and operating over tremendous IT failures. The CSA diabolical disaster is the norm not the exception and Aircraft control still use paper instead of computers becase its more reliable. Given this, and given the importance the ID card will have in daily life, a simple thing like database corruption would result in complete shutdown of the UK. A bigger thing like theft of the database would compromise the identities of everyone in the nation.

And thats before I get to things like asking how a plastic ID card will jump out and stop someone blowing themselves up. Thats opposed to employing more trained policemen who actually could. And even thats before I ask when you start calling something a police state.
Jeffrey Lake, 15 years ago.

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