25 Oct 2010

The Database state is back

The National Identity Register is dead - at least that is what I thought listening to the Coalition politicians. But it seems "ID Cards for foreigners", using the systems designed for national identity cards, are continuing their steady expansion - and from 14th december enrolment will require a digital photograph of the applicant's face and fingers being scanned.

Pic by local artist Russ

The campaign group No2ID who thought maybe they could put their feet up a bit are clearly going to be as busy as ever - they comment that it "would be straightforward to extend this to the whole population should a future government accept the idea. The ID scheme is both cancelled and still alive."

Meanwhile, they note other doublespeak.... 'The Coalition: our programme for government' said: "We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason." But the strategic defence review published this week contains the line: "We will introduce a programme to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework." This is exactly what the Home Office said under the last government in promoting the *expansion* of surveillance capacity to cover all email, web-use, Skype and instant messaging.

I have already highlighted we seem to be getting the same picture with health records - see my blog in August here - here is what NO2ID say: "We have a suggestion that in future you may control your own records online (potentially good), the NHS spine continues without a clear function -- the headlines say it has been 'cut back', but the core principle is still the poisonous one that you have to keep on saying "no", or you will be deemed to have said "yes" irreversibly, to information about you and yours being shared."

The way DNA records are routinely collected and kept by the police, the monitoring of all our movements by numberplate recognition and the e-Borders programmes seem to be continuing largely undisturbed.

As NO2ID say: "They won't be admitting it, but the database state is back."

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