In today’s Telegraph, we read, with not too much surprise, that The Coalition is quietly bringing in ID Cards for all, only this time, it will be ID Cards 2.0 and not Labour’s centralised NIR powered ID Cards 1.
All of the problems of the old ID Card remain however, and some new ones are introduced, which I will point out right now.
Coalition builds new national identity system
The Coalition has quietly begun work on a new national identity system, less than a year after it scrapped Labour’s derided ID cards.
Didn’t take long did it? And this latest attempt had to happen at some point, since HMG refused to rule out ID Cards for Foreigners, meaning that eventually everyone in the UK would have to be in the system because targeting only foreign looking people is racist and irrational, as we said before.
A prototype of the new system is due to be in place as soon as October this year. It will aim to reliably identify users of government websites, as part of plans to deliver more public services via the web.
This is a lie. The new system is a prototype of ID Cards for everyone. It is not just for accessing government ‘services’. ID Cards always lead to feature creep whenever they are widely deployed, for a variety of reasons; for example, so that people who sell alcohol, cigarettes, aspirin and scissors, can prove that they did a proper ID check before making the sale, the information being stored on their database, indemnifying them from prosecution. This is what it would look like:
the devil really is in the details:
This time, the receipt will not say NIR but will say ‘assured identity’. You will not be able to buy anything on the list of ‘verify before buy’ items without either showing your VISA or paying by VISA.
George Osborne believes the shift online will cut Whitehall administration costs and so help soften the blow of spending cuts over the next few years.
Several private companies that already hold personal data, including credit card providers, will be involved in the system.
There is the big difference, and the new moral problem. Previously the liars of New Labour claimed that ID Cards mandated by the state were OK because, “private companies already have much of this data”. This is a classic fallacious argument of course, and now the coalition is re-imagining it to justify ID Cards 2.0.
If you volunteer to interact with a company so that they can provide you with a service, that is one thing (and its a good thing) but when companies join with government where you will be compelled to use their services, that is fascism.
The government compels you to pay for and use it ‘services’; they are not voluntary. By partnering with VISA and other companies to identify you, and mandating that you use VISA to access their systems, they are forcing you to use the services of a company.
This is completely immoral and unjustifiable.
If government cannot deliver services on budget, then they should not be offering those services. Savings of money are not a sufficient excuse to introduce ID Cards.
Such firms have already verified their customers’ identities, so privacy campaigners hope government will not itself collect personal data, in contrast to the National Identity Register that was to be the basis of ID cards.
This is straight out of a PR pack I imagine. The laws of the universe, having not changed since the death of Labour’s ID Card, mean that when you identify yourself to the state in this new system, you will be issued a unique number by them, or by the issuer of the card.
That number will travel with you from the moment you sign up till the day you die. That number will act as a primary database key to track all of your purchases, interactions, money transfers and every time you show the card.
It is exactly the same problem that the old ID Card system had, except this time, the financial and technical burden of running the system is being outsourced to VISA, Nectar and the other crony capitalist, fascist companies that are selling their customer databases to the state.
You will have no opt out in this. Even if VISA require that you consent to having your card used to identify you at a government portal, and they are not compelling you to use a VISA ID Card 2.0 service, the fact of the matter is that you will be compelled to interact with them because the state will mandate, backed with violence, that you identify yourself using the new system.
Visa is known to be involved in the plans and is conducting trials that would allow its customers to log in to government websites using credit card details.
This is yet another step in the transition to a completely corporate state, where companies overtly are in charge of the government at every level.
“Currently customers have to enter multiple login details and passwords to access different public services, sometimes on the same website,” said Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister responsible for the cross-government plan.
“This involves significant duplication, is expensive to operate and is highly inconvenient for users.”
If that is the only problem, then switch to Open ID; one login for all your websites. Or stop using the web to deliver ‘services’. These justifications are paper thin transparent nonsense.
He also claimed the new scheme, dubbed “identity assurance”, would also make it more difficult for fraudsters to dupe the benefits and tax systems.
This is a lie. If it is not a lie, then he needs to say precisely why this is so. Credit card fraud is rampant, and using credit cards to interface with the state will allow everyone with a fraudulent or duplicated credit card to masquerade as someone else when identifying themselves to a government portal.
Look no further than the recent SONY breach where the credit card details, dates of birth, names and addresses of SEVENTY MILLION people were copied.
The population of Britain is 61,838,154 – 2009 That means that a number of people, larger than the population of Britain had their credit card details copied.
It means that if such a thing happened in the UK, every single person who identifies themselves to the state with their VISA could be impersonated with ease. This means more benefit fraud, GUARANTEED.
The government has informed privacy campaigners such as the pressure group NO2ID about the plans, in an attempt to avoid the civil liberties outcry that ultimately destroyed ID cards.
This preemptive strike will not work. The genie is out of the bottle about the dangers of ID Cards.
But Guy Herbert, NO2ID’s general secretary warned that “the devil will be in the details and especially the legal details” of the new scheme. He said the Cabinet Office had not yet offered details despite its tight schedule.
“It’s not a bad thing in itself to check that the person you are talking to is the person you want to talk to,” Mr Herbert said.
“But whatever the good intentions at the outset, the fear will always be that the bureaucratic imperative to collect and share more data about the public will take over.”
And that’s not the half of it. I’m sure that he said much more that was not quoted in this piece.
Identity assurance will be implemented from August next year as part of major government initiatives such as forthcoming radical reforms to the benefits system and improvements to online tax assessments.
They will use your credit card transaction history to ensure that you are not spending more than you should be according to your tax return. This is a part of the move to ‘real time taxation’ that was quietly mooted recently. It doesn’t get any more sinister than this.
It will then gradually be extended so users will be able to use the same login for all public services online.
Once again, there is no need to use credit cards to do this; Open ID will suffice if this is the real problem, which of course, it is not.
Personally, I think that most credit card holders, after having been educated about online fraud for years, and instilling in themselves a healthy paranoia about putting their card details into a form online, will understand exactly what it means to identify yourself with your VISA or MasterCard. They will understand immediately that this is a threat, because credit cards are money and people guard their money more jealously than they guard their privacy.
Of course, this has some other side effects.
What about the people who do not have credit cards? Either they will be excluded from receiving government services to which they are entitled (and they are the ones who use them the most), or VISA will be made to issue everyone with a VISA card hastening the death of cash, that other project hight on the agenda of the State.
It is a win-win deal for both VISA and the state:
- The State gets an ID Card system they do not have to manage
- The State eliminates cash which is untraceable and un-taxable
- VISA gets to run the de-facto new electronic currency of Britain
In the mean time, it is only the productive, credit worthy tax payer who is going to be guinea pigged, fleeced, max-taxed and tracked as he dutifully interfaces with this new system… if he doesn’t have any brains.
This is the wrong time, societally, to introduce this. The biggest ever act of civil disobedience has just happened, people are fed up to the teeth with crony capitalism, inflationism, bailouts warmongering and corruption.
Go ahead. Keep pushing.