Saturday, June 03, 2006

A report on the state of the National Identity Register, May 2016

Thanks to the wonders of modern time-travel, a report on the state of Britain's National Identity Card from 2016 has fallen through a time-warp and been published on Charlie's Diary.

Based on previous government IT projects, the National ID card will end in utter disaster. There are so many things that need to go perfectly right for it to work, and it is unlikely that they will. There is every reason to expect that the project will be late, incomplete, more expensive than even the most pessimistic estimates, and completely and utterly unable to do what it is supposed to do. It is an anti-solution (a "solution" that makes the problem worse rather than better) to what is, at best, a set of unrelated minor problems. To choose just one example of many, it has been claimed by some that the ID card will help fight crime in the streets. But this is ridiculous: criminals don't check in and check out with their ID card when they mug somebody on the street. Proving a suspect's identity is not what holds back the police, except in airport crime novels and third-rate police dramas, but proving guilt.

The British ID card isn't about fighting terrorists (who hide their intentions, not their identities) or crime or even cutting identity fraud (a single unquestioned official ID will simply make identity fraud easier). It is about knowledge. The British government is demanding absolute knowledge over every aspect of their citizens' identity -- where they live, who they live with, their entire past history, and even biometrics like retinal patterns, fingerprints and DNA. And no government in history has ever forgotten:

Knowledge Is Power.

Further information about the proposed ID card can be found on Wikipedia.

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