Saturday, 8 August 2009

More on ID cards

What's the point of spending oodles of recession strapped taxpayers cash on a high technology project which no-one really needs (and a great many of us don't want), to address a problem it cannot fix.

The UK Home Office claim that high technology ID cards will help in the 'fight against terrorists' forgets one salient fact; the 9/11 maniacs, the Madrid bombers, the 7/7 bombers all had legitimate government issued ID. Every last single one of them. They were all, as far as the bureaucracy was concerned, totally legitimate and legal.

Now I don't mind carrying identification. My British Columbia driving licence covers me for most things. I have a modern UK passport, and as a law abiding citizen, no criminal record apart from one (Paid) speeding ticket picked up in Ontario.

My problem with the UK Home Office scheme is this; it puts al your identity eggs in one basket. Tax, health, everything. Lose it and someone else has your life. Using the technology currently available they can make a couple of minor modifications and strip you of everything you own. The card technology is readily hackable as proven by one researcher, thus making a would-be ID thieves life very easy. It's quite literally offering terror organisations and criminals a free lunch.

The point is, while you have disparate pieces of identification, if you're careful, the ID thieves have to work quite hard to defraud you. On the other hand, with one size fits all ID, that's all the criminals will need, your card. Maybe it's just my over active imagination, but I prophesy a wholesale business murdering people and destroying their bodies just for these wonderful one-does-everything ID cards. The cards stolen will be hacked, modified and increase the opportunities for terrorists to operate even more freely than currently. In the UK, someone's life will be worth the price they paid for their ID card. Quite a chilling thought, isn't it?

The only way to beat terrorism is a solid hearts and minds programme which removes the root grievance. Failing that, forced expulsion of the entire sub group responsible for the terrorist acts. Both have been shown to work, historically speaking. Forcing the rest of a resentful populace to carry ID cards won't.

Me, I'm just hoping my permanent residency gets fully processed so I can kick off my Canadian citizenship application and never have to reapply for a UK passport or any other UK ID again. Speed the day.

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