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I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

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Edmund's comments embody a huge number of the myths that some people seem to believe about ID cards. I'm sure Nic will be around soon to do a similarly elegant takedown to last time, but just a few points:

"Britain now has security cards for their visitors as well as their nationals." Visitors to Britain will not have ID cards.

"When they introduced I.D. cards to Internet cafes very few secret messages were sent." You're living in a dream world, Edmund. Emails can be encrypted regardless of wheher you had to sign on to a terminal with an ID card or not.

"shoplifters have banning orders on their cards [...] Convicted muggers are not allowed in the tube network" Your vision of a state in which having once committed a crime prevents one from shopping or travelling ever again is, er, interesting. I'm also amused by your scenario of people being denied access to shops and transport in the event of a security alert -- what a great way to blow an operation's cover by letting people know you're watching them. You want to run an efficient authoritarian police state, you gotta think these things through...

"Now the Brits have expelled over 1 million illegals ..." Edmund, how do you think the registration system for ID cards will work? People's records will be created on the basis of their existing documents. Which means anyone here on a false passport or other false documentation gets automatically legitimised. Your comment is a great example of one of the main dangers that many security experts have identified in this scheme: people will assume that if you have an ID card then you are "legal" or otherwise OK, when in fact the system will be just as prone to error and fraud as any other - in some ways, more so.

" I PROMISE TO TEXT HIS I.D.NUMBER TO YOU...." How will you know it's a real number, or that it's not someone else's? You'll have no way of checking. Another example of the complacency I mentioned above.

WHEN YOU HAD THE CHANCE IN 2006." Entirely agree with you there, but it's got nothing to do with ID cards!
Eleanor, 14 years ago.

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