More IDiocy

The home secretary ‘Waqui’ Jaqui Smith or Unterführer Schmidt as I like to think of her, has been continuing the relentless drive to spend billions on the National ID card and National Identity Register this year. Implementing this pointless system makes even less sense in the financial winter ahead of us.

Expensive Kit

Before I rant further let’s remind ourselves of the financial burden the system will place us under. The government budgeted £5.8 billion over 10 years (now reduced to 4.7bn thanks to incremental rollout plans)to implement the ID card scheme, although this figure does not include the costs of the UK Passports services ICP program (essentially the basis for the NIR).

You’ll remember that the London School of Economics estimated the true costs in the region of £19bn, however this estimate was based on the NIR data being made available to 3 government agencies rather than the 265 agencies they now intend to give access to. As a result they estimate the costs could rise by another £5bn – £10bn (zdnet article)

Purpose

The government whilst denying the LSE’s estimates, maintains that this scheme for a ‘Gold Standard’ in identity verification will be worth the billions spent on it to provide the following benefits

  • Protect us from Terrorism
  • Control Immigration
  • Reduce fraud

Stella Rimington (ex-MI5 chief) said in 2005 she didn’t believe ID cards would be a benefit in the fight against terrorism, and this week she told La Vanguardia (a Spanish newspaper)

“It would be better that the Government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in fear and under a police state.”

Reality

The so called ‘Gold Standard’ label stems from the fact that the biometric details on the card are checked against the gigantic government database containing the officially harvested biometrics from your visit to the state sanctified recording office.

However last week it emerged that as yet there are no plans for creating the card readers or the online infrastructure to enable this remote check to take place! These costs are not included in the Government’s £4.7bn budget.

Since the only protection against fraudulent cards is the ability to check the NIR database, this renders the entire scheme utterly pointless for the forseeable future.

So in effect the scheme wastes billions of pounds of money to produce only half of a fundamentally flawed system providing no benefits to the populace at all (unless of course you are in IT contractor)

Finally since the scheme is already in effect for foreign nationals, we can at least get a taste of what’s to come. This article from the Guardian demonstrates the joys we can all expect if the current Government gets it’s wicked and disingenuous way.

Have fun everyone! – Jansta

I am not a number! I’m a very naughty boy!

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