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Trans-Atlantic ID Card System 428

Posted by Zonk
from the hands-across-the-globe dept.
Th3P0stalDud3 writes "The Independent is reporting that the U.S. has asked the U.K. to use the same chips in their proposed identity cards as the ones in our proposed identity card. In effect, creating a trans-atlantic ID card system." From the article: "The aim of getting the same microchip is to ensure compatability in screening terrorist suspects. But it will also mean that information contained in the British cards can be accessed across the Atlantic."
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Trans-Atlantic ID Card System

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  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:55AM (#12655098)

    From TFA:

    US diplomatic sources stated later that Washington did not wish to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries.


    You're kidding, right? Interfering is what we do .

    ^_^
    • The US isn't "interfering"; rather, two Orwellian governments are joining forces for a common objective.

      They seem to want to have a single world ID standard, which would be fine if there was one world state in which all human beings could travel freely. Unfortunately, it looks like people's citizenship will be restricted to one place, whereas all the governments of the world can get in cahoots to oppress people no matter where they go.
    • Indeed. I'm hoping this interference will influence MPs to kick the bill out altogether. After all the real reason we're getting them in the first place is because the US requires them for entry. And now we're required to buy them from a US supplier? It's the last straw (oh, a pun; not intended).
      • by monkeydo (173558) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:52AM (#12655797) Homepage
        Your observation would be much more interesting, if there wasn't a corresponding benefit to go along with cost. As is pointed out in the article, the UK is one of several countries which's citizens are able to enter the US with no visa, or pre-entry screening. In order for this arrangement to be sustainable, the US and the UK must be able to verify that people who say they are citizens of one country really are who they say they are. It's like when the bouncer at the bar won't accept your out of state DL, because it doesn't look like the one is his book. Tennessee is under no obligation to make their DL's difficult to forge and easy to verify by Texas bouncers, but it is in their best interest to do so.
        • I suppose so - literally checking ID is reasonable enough.

          The problem is the information they choose to associate with the ID. And of course I don't just mean anything else stored on the card - any real info about you is stored on a central system and just keyed off your card.

          But then these systems are already around, so perhaps fussing about the key used to access them is really a distraction?
    • by hotspotbloc (767418) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:31AM (#12655537) Homepage Journal
      From TFA:
      US diplomatic sources stated later that Washington did not wish to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries*.
      * Offer not valid in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Syria, Lebanon or Canada.
    • by ianpm (787890) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:57AM (#12655845)
      Oh don't worry, Britain (Specifically Blair) love the US making suggestions. We wouldn't be able to run our country without your help.

      No disrespect to actual Americans, but our Governments together are a bloody liability. They just agree blindly with what the other says and ignore what the voting public want. Its a huge back slaping excercise.

      Thank God both countries contain (some) sane people!

      On the subject of these cards, the expected cost is supposed to be about £80 (~$140) which is really not going to be popular with the public when it launches.

      I'm all for clever technology to prevent crime, but the ID card is not going to help at all.
    • by PMuse (320639) on Friday May 27, 2005 @01:24PM (#12656759)
      You're kidding, right? Interfering is what we do.

      Interfering is what everyone does, if they can.

      TotalFinaElf and Lukoil in Iraq. USSR all over Eurasia. France in Indo-China Burma. The whole British empire, for that matter (that would be the guys who drew the lines on the map of Iraq). And on and on and on.

      The US is just as guilty as everyone else. The only difference is that they're the ones doing it now.
  • Hey... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <relyo.nhoj>> on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:55AM (#12655103) Journal
    Wouldn't it be shorter to just say "Oceania ID Card" ?
    • Re:Hey... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:04AM (#12655204) Homepage Journal
      Nonsense, that would suggest that Oceania's Ministry Of Truth was capable of adjusting history and presenting barefaced lies as fact, simply to fit their military ambitions.

      Inconceivable! [downingstreetmemo.com]

      (The only similarity is, when Shrub writes 2+2=5, he doesn't realise that's wrong, either).
      • that would suggest that Oceania's Ministry Of Truth was capable of adjusting history and presenting barefaced lies as fact

        It was the Ministry of Love that was responsible for the torture of the citizens who did not follow the party line...

        Interrogator: Winston, what is two plus two?

        Winston: four.

        Interrogator: And what if Dubya says it is five?

    • Damn! Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn! This is exactly what I was going to post! :)

      -sirket
    • Re:Hey... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Have you considered joining Students for an Orwellian Society (SOS) [studentsfororwell.org]
    • Re:Hey... (Score:3, Funny)

      by tourvil (103765)
      Step 1. Post something referring to 1984.

      Step 2. ?

      Step 3. Karma!

      ;)

    • Re:Hey... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ifwm (687373)
      No because this is real life and not a book. I realize it's guaranteed karma to spout nonsense about 1984 every time some country tries something anit-privacy related.

      But honestly, you sound silly.
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:55AM (#12655107) Homepage Journal

    FTA: Mr Chertoff said yesterday that it was vital to seek compatibility, holding up the example of the "video war" of 25 years ago, when VHS and Betamax were in fierce competition to win the status of industry standard for video recording systems.

    If video compatibility is such a big issue why do they keep 2 main video standards (PAL/NTSC) and continue to put region encoding on DVDs? That lame "video war" comparison is just to appease the public into accepting a "New World Order" style of international identification. Once the US and Great Britain are locked in, it will be harder for other countries to resist if they want unencumbered travel for their citizens.

    • by Anubis350 (772791) on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:59AM (#12655149)
      it will be harder for other countries to resist if they want unencumbered travel for their citizens.

      this raises interesting questions about those counties that are members of the british commonwealth. Would this mean that in order for those countries to maintain the ease of movement they have now with other members of the commonwealth they would have to submit to U.S. rules on the IDs?
    • If video compatibility is such a big issue why do they keep 2 main video standards (PAL/NTSC) and continue to put region encoding on DVDs?

      Yeah, it's a crappy analogy, but critical thinking isn't a extremist's strength at all (and right wing extremists are driving this agenda).

      Frankly, I don't know why any country would want to facilitate sharing their citizen's private information with the United States. Unlike Europe, we have no regulation regarding the trading and selling of private information. Brit
  • looks like the gov't doesnt want us to know:

    404 File Not Found
    The requested URL (it/05/05/27/145234.shtml?tid=172&tid=219) was not found.

    If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.
  • by HMA2000 (728266) on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:56AM (#12655114)
    That would be awesome. I think it is important that we post unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about how this is just one more step in an inevitable march towards some dytopian future.
    • As a european, I can say this knowing exactly why this is a bad thing. Before 1940, we had no ID cards. After 1945, we tore up the ID cards across the continent. That should really tell you something.
      Invoke Godwin if you must, but Godwin never contemplated that at one point the comparison was actually warrented.

      And if you think it's just a reaction towards oppressors...we still have laws based on the Napoleonic code, we all have surnames and streetnames...so if something is good and makes sense, it gets us
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:57AM (#12655120) Homepage Journal
    But it will also mean that information contained in the British cards can be accessed across the Atlantic.
    Crikey. The range of RFID card-readers has gone up since I last looked into them...
  • Cost... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Manip (656104) on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:57AM (#12655132)
    Our government (UK) just spend x millions in creating this ID card scheme which is says we need... Now they are going to try and sell the public the concept of dumping all that R&D and use the USA standard... When that same government uses the cost so far as a reason why we can't just drop the entire project... Does anyone see a big hole in their logic?

    1984 was a good book, just not a great estimate, I think 2010 is a more realistic estimate...
    • I'm yet to see them give a remotely plausible reason as to why we need to spend £100 each on the cards anyway. The closest I've heard is:
      "It'll stop terrorists"
      "The 9/11 hijackers had valid ID"
      "Errr.."

      Even the 'illegal immigrants' angle seems flawed - they are, by nature, here illegaly. What's to stop them stealing/faking IDs? And it's just forcing more hoops to jump through for those who want to come here legally.
      • Another major justification is to prevent identity theft.

        Given that more and more transactions are performed remotely with the retailer and the customer connected via phone or web, I find it difficult to understand how these ID cards will prevent fraudulent transactions. And biometric readers at the customer end are not elegant and must be subvertible in many ways.

        You can change your password as many times as you want, but if someone can masquerade as you using your biometrics then you are buggered. Revok
    • Fortunately, governments need not show a profit...
    • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:39AM (#12655628)
      Our government (UK) just spend x millions in creating this ID card scheme which is says we need...

      The great irony is that in a recent discussion on the BBC News site, approximately 80% of respondents to a poll said they didn't want the cards, compared to well under 20% who did. Now, on-line polls are hardly the most scientific study in the world -- there was no CowboyNeal option for a start -- but IME the ones on the BBC do tend to be fairly representative when compared to proper studies.

      One common objection cited in the discussion was the cost, and specifically who will wind up paying it, and how often UK governments give (mostly US-based) megacorps lucrative contracts that then strangely over-run and cost the taxpayer even more.

      Another common objection was the shifting goalposts in the benefits it's supposed to bring us: pre-election it was all about anti-terrorism, until various Spanish bombings despite ID cards were repeatedly mentioned. Then it was illegal immigration, until about half the world failing to stop illegal immigration despite requiring ID was repeatedly mentioned. Now it's identity theft, but people are pointing out that super-cards could actually make it easier for professional criminals to take an identity, not to mention the hazards of locking all the key information about a citizen into a single, centralised database.

      Perhaps the real reason is that the US wants it, and Blair is playing along? Not that that's ever happened before, you understand.

  • by panxerox (575545) * on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:58AM (#12655135)
    The federal id system as proposed is a continuation of the process by which the government has been seeking to destroy the underground economy and stratify society to an even greater degree. The id system combined with the coming cashless society, educational divide, locking in of resources from the elimination of the inheritance tax can only end in a resumption of the feudal system or something very much like it. When our economy crashes (who thinks the current walmart economy can really last?) the elimination of the middle class will be complete. At this point the plan put in place by the patrician class will have come to fruition and their power will be unchallenged.
    • Thank goodness that, by then, our economic system will be almost entirely socialistic.

      When you have only a rich "greedy" class and a poor "victim" class, it makes the confiscation and redistribution of wealth much easier.
  • by jimicus (737525) on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:58AM (#12655136)
    FTFA: US diplomatic sources stated later that Washington did not wish to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries.

    At the risk of being modded flamebait, when has that ever stopped the US before?
    • by Timesprout (579035) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:22AM (#12655433)
      To be fair for a long time the US had little interest in what other countries were doing and prior to his inital election several commentators were concerned reagarding Bushs isolationist leanings.

      9/11 and the rise of the neo cons has prompted a complete turn around where we are all terrorists until proven otherwise and any action by the US is justified under 'security' regardless of international law and conventions.

      Its astonishing to contemplate the turn around from previous American apathy to a nation which now readily embarks on politically motivated military action.
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:59AM (#12655153)

    If the Britons don't knuckle under, it's clear that they HATE OUR FREEDOM.

    ^_^
    • umm.. What freedom?
      • by The Angry Mick (632931) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:27AM (#12655491) Homepage
        Hey man, we still have some good freedoms:
        • Our freedom to worship the one true God, as long as He doesn't remind us of that whole "be kind to others" socialist crap.
        • Our freedom to demand accountability from our elected political officials, provided, of course, such accountability never results in any embarassment or actual discipline to said elected officials.
        • Our freedom to march pridefully forward into our future role as China's economic bitch^H^H^H^H^Hpartner, secure in the knowloedge that we will always be able to buy whatever we want, as long as its at Wal-Mart.
        • Our freedom to enjoy quality sports and reality programming.

          There's probably some more, but I haven't had a chance to get the latest list from Fox . . . these things change so frequently these days . . .

  • OMFG! An international standard for electronically readable ID cards? Big Brother is going to be the death of us all. Darn that Bush and his Consitution stomping cronies...

    So, how many of you travellers appreciate using your Visa/MC/AmEx and ATM cards when you're in another country?

    • I don't go to other countries.

      My country's foreign policy makes such excursions a risky proposition.
    • by acceleriter (231439) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:06AM (#12655237)
      How many of you travellers were forced to carry your Visa/MC/AmEx and ATM cards by your government?
      • Check into a hotel, rent a car, do almost anything overseas without a Credit Card. It's awfully darn difficult without carrying a suitcase full of cash and getting screwed with each currency conversion.

        Of course the data collected by all of this can be accessed by your, and other, governments and it's much more pervasive than the US and the UK trying to agree on a standard chip in their passports.

        I'm must amazed that it suddenly becomes evil because they add this extra bit to an already government mandat

        • I'm must [sic] amazed that it suddenly becomes evil because they add this extra bit to an already government mandated identification card.

          Nice try, but no. Plenty of people were having problems with this before it was mandated...which may explain why they had to tack it onto an existing military spending bill to get it through Congress.

      • by RealAlaskan (576404) on Friday May 27, 2005 @12:40PM (#12656273) Homepage Journal
        How many of you travellers were forced to carry your Visa/MC/AmEx and ATM cards by your government?

        More than you think, perhaps.

        We can't carry large amounts of cash overseas. It's illegal: if you don't declare it, then when they find it during the strip searches, you're a terrorist or drug dealer and they confiscate it. If you do declare it, you're a terrorist or drug dealer and they confiscate it before the strip search.

        Yes, I'm exaggerating, but not by as much as you think. It is illegal to take large amounts of cash out of the country without declaring it, and the government (usually local cops) will confiscate any large stashes of cash they find. They claim it's drug money, and charge the money with a crime [nacdl.org]. You have to prove that the money is innocent [kcstar.com] to get it back (scroll down to the bottom of that link).

        No, I am not making any of that up.

        So, you can carry travelers checks, you can carry your Visa, but you're taking a big risk if you carry cash. The really dangerous criminals are the ones in the uniforms.

    • That might be a remotely valid argument if everyone was forced to use American Express. Oh, but even then your argument wouldn't make as much sense as you seem to think.
      • Try again (Score:3, Interesting)

        Try to travel overseas without a credit card. Heck, try to stay overnight in a chain hotel in another state without a credit card. It ain't easy.

        In this case we're getting worked into a lather about two countries trying to agree on a standard for their already issued government ID cards. The information contained in them is already accessible by the two governments. The only difference is that the border inspector can just swipe/scan instead of type to get that info.

        So do please enlighten me as to how

        • Heck, try to stay overnight in a chain hotel in another state without a credit card. It ain't easy.

          It's plenty easy...just tell the clerk you don't have your credit card on you, and ask if you can use your uncle Andy's, as you nonchalantly slide a twenty dollar bill across the counter to him.

          I've found that Mr. Jackson's credit is good at a surprisingly large number of establishments.
  • by garcia (6573) * on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:02AM (#12655187) Homepage
    Mr Chertoff said yesterday that it was vital to seek compatibility, holding up the example of the "video war" of 25 years ago, when VHS and Betamax were in fierce competition to win the status of industry standard for video recording systems.

    "I certainly hope we have the same chip... It would be very bad if we all invested huge amounts of money in biometric systems and they didn't work with each other.Hopefully, we are not going to do VHS and Betamax with our chips. I was one of the ones who bought Betamax, and that's now in the garbage," he said.


    VHS and Betamax weren't intended to compromise our personal privacy. I just don't see how he would dare to compare these two completely unrelated things. Was it to try and make this sound more benign than it is?

    Mr Chertoff also proposed that British citizens wishing to visit the US should consider entering a "Trusted Traveller" scheme.

    I propose we stop assuming *everyone* is guilty because of what ~15 other people did. Oh wait, *everyone* hates freedom so we have to do this or we're UnAmerican, sorry, I forgot. Send me for reeducation please... I didn't learn it right the first time.

    Mr Chertoff said compatability and the checking system was intended purely to track down "terrorists and criminals" and the main aim was to provide a "fair and reasonable system".

    Yet it hinders and inconveniences everyone including citizens of the United States who are having their privacy violated.

    "When we screen based on names, we're screening on the most primitive and least technological basis of identification - it's the most susceptible to misspelling, or people changing their identity, or fraud," he said.

    I'm 100% certain that whatever method the US Government puts in place will be full of holes large enough to drive a truck through. It's not going to solve any of the problems that we have had in the past.
    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:58AM (#12655858) Homepage Journal
      Yet it hinders and inconveniences everyone including citizens of the United States who are having their privacy violated.

      My dad, Canadian, was crossing the border this winter to go camping, they stopped him and searched his camper, putting it through the fancy gamma scanner and everything.

      Seems reasonable, right?

      Except that while doing so they tried to arrest him, fingerprint him, and put him in a cell for the duration of the scan!

      Now, my dad isn't an idiot, he knows he's done nothing wrong, he knows the border-crossing drill, having done it many many times before, and he just said "stop reading me my rights!", refused to be arrested for crossing the Canada/US border completely legally, with all the paerwork properly done.
      They stopped their shenanigans, since they had NO REASON to arrest him, but I'm sure more gullible travelers are suckered into believing that this is right, else they'll be suspected of t3h 3v1l terrorism.

      Now, I'm sorry, but you guys are obviously devolving into a fucking police state! Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave .
      • Now, I'm sorry, but you guys are obviously devolving into a fucking police state! Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave

        Dude, Jefferson is not just spinning in his grave, he's doing fucking backflips. When they passed the Real-ID he did a 720 degree half-gainer, leading into a double back-flip handspring, during which he did a mid-air pirouette. From there, he progressed to the parallel bars.

        Let me tell you, at the end of that routine, he was dead-tired.

  • by Dasein (6110) <[tedc] [at] [codebig.com]> on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:05AM (#12655221) Homepage Journal
    I suggest a little civil disobedience. Whenever asked for our ID we should repeat the phrase "Leeloo Dallas, multi-pass." in response to any further questions.
  • by Doug Dante (22218) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:05AM (#12655226)
    The US is already working with Canada and Mexico to unify [seclists.org] drivers licenses and other identifications [seclists.org].

    With CAFTA [wikipedia.org] and FTAs between US and Australia [ustr.gov], and other Free Trade agreements in effect or in progress, including Andean FTA, Australia FTA, Bahrain FTA, Chile FTA, Israel FTA, Jordan FTA, Morocco FTA, Panama FTA, Singapore FTA, and SACU FTA, you can bet that we'll see more of the same with our major trading partners.

  • ...that chips in ID documents are a good idea, then why not allow data sharing between friendly governments?

    The bigger question, in my mind, is "Are RFID chips in ID documents a good idea?" My feeling is, "Probably not."
  • by keyrat rafa (856668) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:06AM (#12655235) Homepage
    Why don't we just affix small "I'm a terrorist" decals on the existing IDs of terrorists; that way, we'll always know who's who! By now anyone who is a known terrorist will not be using his real ID to go anywhere. Furthermore, no amount of biometric IDing is going to point out a terrorist. This is just something to better catalogue ordinary citizens with the guise of added security.
    • And, to top it off, most suicide terrorists do not have a history of terrorism of any kind (if you think about it, it makes sense...the terrorist mastermind is not interested in suicide and so they recruit others for this part of the plan). Having an ID that identifies you says nothing about your intentions. The only way this can have any impact on stopping terrorism is to create a history on the person and correlate this history with terrorist related data. So, a national ID card mandates a database on
  • They care about whether the chip is complaint to the ICAO standard, not what particular chip is used. There are lots of chips out there, they just have to respond correctly to the same APDUs. This article contains simplifications that are so dumbed down as to be wrong.
  • I for one am glad to see this story come out while Bliar is trying to push internal passports on us. Labour MPs really, really hate seeing Bliar bend over for some right-wing Yank with the IQ of a cucumber, so this is a strong incentive for them to vote against their leader on this law... which would almost certainly mean it would fail.
  • Bloody politicians haven't a clue - ID cards will not change anything.

    1) Not everybody* has hands (for fingerprints) or eyes (for retina scans) or whatever else goes into this. What happens to these people?

    2) When it gets forged (it will), then there will be no doubt (no questions) on producing the forged ID - a failsafe forgery. At least if a password is cracked, you can start again and change it. You can't exactly change your DNA over night...

    The only reason they are pushing the ID card shit is f
  • The UK has always been the US's only real ally and backdoor into Europe.

    Forcing it on the UK first would be a good first step to making the US ID system the global standard.
  • One thing I wondered was, is this influenced by commercial considerations? In the US big players include Sun Microsystems with the JAVA Card and RSA Security. Each of these systems are backed with US technologies and both have got closer to Microsoft recently (Bill Gates gave this year's keynote at the RSA Conference, SUN and Microsoft have recently made a number of announcement re. making their Directories and technology work closer together). I can't see the US picking a non US vendor for such a politica
  • by Catullus (30857) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:14AM (#12655339) Journal
    This is yet another scary development in the long-running UK ID card saga. If any non-UK residents are interested, the current state of play is that legislation will probably soon be passed to force all UK residents to get biometric ID cards by 2008(ish).

    These cards will cost us all up to £93 ($150+) each, with profits from the scheme going to private companies. Everyone's personal details will be stored in one huge database, which can be accessed by a variety of government agencies. A recent trial of the biometric technology used in the cards showed that it was quite ineffective. The Government is nevertheless convincing the electorate that this is a good idea by playing on the fear of identity theft (which the cards won't help prevent) and fear of illegal immigrants.

    There's a good (as ever) article about ID cards at The Register [theregister.co.uk].
    • by plopez (54068) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:55AM (#12655825) Journal
      And the databases will probably be badly normalised pieces of crap with redundent, dirty, incorrect and out-of-date information floating around. The applications built on these databases will be built by lowest bidder code monkeys who couldn't program their way out of a wet paper sack. As such they will not have a clue as to maintaining data integrity. Get ready for people being held without bail or legal representation on false positives.

      And the companies which build and maintain the technology will be large campaign contributors and/or junket providers to the decision makers. But that will just be a coincidence. Right?
  • here we go again (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chegosaurus (98703) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:15AM (#12655342) Homepage
    I'm against ID cards (or, more specifically, the database behind them) for many reasons, none of which are particularly terrifying on their own.

    The issue for me is that the government can't think of anything better to do with several billion pounds. At least using existing technology might lower the budget a bit.

    I don't really believe Big Brother is coming. I don't believe we will really have any less privacy or freedom when forced to carry "papers". I also don't believe they will fix any of the problems our society currently has.

    I'm very angry that such a massive public expenditure will benefit no one other than whoever wins the contract to implement it. Oh, and the ego of the poiliticians who are gearing up to bully it through the house.

    Speaking of which, why *ARE* they so keen to force this on us? Conspiracy theorists, please go nuts.
    • "Conspiracy theorists, please go nuts."

      How about:

      So they can test the waters to see how far they can bully the public into giving the Government their private data?

      So they can sneek in extra police powers to "effectively use the power of the new ID cards to counter terrorism" that would otherwise get laughed out of the house?

      So they can make new friends in the private sector ("We'll give you this contract if you do something for us")?

      To make themselves look useful?

      So they can get their hands on a whol
  • With the reduced majority for Labour from the recent election, UK ID Cards are less likely to be introduced, despite the hormones they inject Home Secretaries with to turn them into rabid ultra-Right skirtniffing beast-creatures.
  • by panurge (573432) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:22AM (#12655426)
    It's simple economics. The British government for some bizarre reason wants a national electronic ID card that is going to cost nearly $200 a head - yes, really. That's $10bn going from the UK GNP to fund IT companies. Naturally, the US would like a slice of the $10bn. (Most of it will go to US-owned IT companies anyway, but getting all of it won't hurt.)

    Look at it like this. The US may have an awful lot of sheep that are having their freedom eroded by the political class, but the British are even more sheeplike. And all that the British prime minister gets out of this is the occasional phot with G Bush and a few well paid lecture tours after he finally gets the push - no oil billions. It reminds me of the sad comment of a member of the intelligence services: "It's depressing how little money some people will sell their country for."

  • Global Sellout (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:23AM (#12655444) Homepage Journal
    It's bad enough that my own Federal government is inserting itself into every detail of my private life, by owning some universal identity info that every identity transaction will use for the rest of my life. But it's giving invasive privilege to some foreign government? Starting with England, then on to some other "most favored nation" like China? Our "friends" in Saudi Arabia, as they "diversify" their global economy into the authentication biz? Who the hell are these freaks, who lie about smaller, less invasive government, then spend $2.5T every year to sell us out to their global partners in crime?
  • ...to simply tatoo a big "T" on the forehead of every terrorist? It would make the screening process a snap.
  • This works more towards single world order than the UN has in all of its years. Makes you wonder.

  • The US government today requested that Al Qaeda use the same identification chips in their identity documents as has been proposed for US documents.

    Osama bin Laden has not yet responded affirmatively to the request. but promised to look into the matter at his next meeting with senior Al Qaeda leaders.

  • by sjf (3790) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:33AM (#12655565)
    This may just be an effort to ensure that US business gets the market for such chips.

    Otherwise I'm really not sure that I see the point. No one here is arguing that you shouldn't need a passport to visit the US. British passports are already machine readable at US passport control. Why should we need an ID card AS WELL ?

  • by reallocate (142797) on Friday May 27, 2005 @11:41AM (#12655655)
    It would be rather nice if Brits and Americans could travel to and from each other's country with just an identity card, much as I understand is possible today within the EU.

    Might save a lot of time stacked up at passport control.

    • Might save a lot of time stacked up at passport control.
      They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little free time
      deserve neither liberty nor more free time.
      --What Ben Franklin might have said
      How about scrapping the ID plan, and instead taking 1% of the budget of the ID plan
      and using it to improve passport control efficiency by adding more staff?

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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