Trevor Mendham

UK Compulsory National Identity Cards (ID Cards)


Following the Queen's Speech in May 2005, Charles Clarke wrote in the Daily Mirror (18/5/2005) attempting to justify the discredited ID Card scheme:

Charles ClarkeResponse from Trevor Mendham
I've long been a strong supporter of identity cards.

Organised criminal gangs thrive by using false identities to launder money so they can continue their illegal business. We already have strong laws to reduce money-laundering. These could be made more effective by improving the security of existing passports or setting up some other form of check for the tiny minority who genuinely need to perform very large cash transactions.

More than a third of terrorists use multiple identities for their activities. Irrelevant.

I'm sure that more than a third of terrorists use cars for their activities - should we ban cars?

I suspect more than a third of terrorists break the speed limit at some time - would more speed cameras stop terrorism?

And the UK loses more than 1.3billion every year through people falling victim to identity theft. That oft quoted figure is highly suspect. Most of it apears to be credit card fraud.

ID Cards can only help against credit card fraud if your card is checked every time you pay by plastic.

Do we really want a society where we have our fingerprints taken in Tescos?

All of these reasons are why everyone in this country needs a single, secure form of ID. Even if that were true it does not justify a huge, intrusive National Identity Register with an audit trail that will record where we go and what we do.

These issues aren't unique to the UK, they're a reality world-wide. Many, many countries which face these issues have decided they do not justify ID Cards.

No liberal, Western democracy has introduced biometric ID Cards linked to a huge intrusive National Identity Register.

Our cards will contain secure biometrics - a computer scan of a person's iris, face or fingerprint.

These are unique, hard to forge and provide a hi-tech form of security locked into every card.

Biometrics are not unique.

Note that even the government is not saying that it will be impossible to forge the cards, merely "hard". Who will be the people with the resources and motivation to perform this hard task? Organised criminals and terrorists.

If your password is hacked or your PIN revealed, you change it.

If your biometrics are hacked - what then? Biometrics are a password you can never revoke.

We already carry numerous forms of identity. Much better to have a single proof of identity. We already carry numerous forms of identity. Much better that way.

We carry specific forms of ID for specific purposes. Not a single skeleton key to our life.

No surprise that eight out of 10 people back our plans. People support the idea of a simple ID Card; they do not support the government's plans.

Once people learn the realities of the proposed scheme - the costs, the database, the 1000 fines - then most oppose it.

The more that people learn about the government's plans, the less they like them. No wonder Clarke is trying to rush this Bill through before the British public realise what is really happening.

Secure ID cards will protect the country from the threat of terrorist attack, making us safer. There is absolutely no evidence for that.

The 911 terrorists had valid ID documents.

ID Cards didn't prevent the Madrid bombing.

ID Cards won't protect us from terrorists; if we give up our way of life then the terrorists will have won.

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UK ID Cards - Introduction

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