Feeds

ID cards protect civil liberties – Blair

Run that one by us, again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Prime Minster has given his strongest support yet for the introductiuon of identity cards in UK.

In what was billed as a make-or-break speech at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth today, Tony Blair presented ID cards as a way of guarding against bogus asylum claims.

"In a world of mass migration, with cheaper travel and all the problems of fraud it makes sense to ask whether identity cards were no longer an affront to civil liberties but a way of protecting them," he told conference delegates.

The theme of ID cards was touched on only briefly in Blair's 50 minute speech, during which he defended the government's decision to go to war with Iraq. He struck an almost-Thatcherite stance in saying his government would press ahead with controversial policies such as setting up foundation hospitals and introducing University top-up fees.

"I can only go one way, I have not got a reverse gear," the Prime Minister told conference delegates.

Home Secretary David Blunkett, who speaks on the conference later this week, has always been more enthusiastic about the concept of ID cards than the Prime Minister.

Blair's remarks take on an added significance following earlier reports that Cabinet members, including Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt, were opposed to the idea of introducing ID cards on economic grounds. Peter Hain, the leader of the Commons and Charles Clarke, the education secretary are also reportedly against the idea of introducing next-generation ID cards on the basis that the biometric cards would cause far more to introduce than might be saved in reduced benefit fraud.

in June Blair reportedly spiked the idea of introducing ID cards - but they're back. It looks increasingly likely that a bill to pave the way for ID cards in Britain will make its way into the Queeen's speech in November.

Ian Brown, director of influential think tank the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR), told The Register that Blair tends to "oscillate" between supporting and opposing ID cards.

"Of all the arguments that might be made in support of ID cards, suggesting that they back up civil liberties is the least backed-up I've heard. This sounds like spin for the benefit of the conference," Brown said. ®

Related stories

Blunkett states ID card aims - but can he achieve them?
Cabinet stalls on ID cards, Blunkett says he'll win anyway
Smart cards, ID cards, nice, nasty, inevitable?
Want to visit Britain? Join the fingerprint queue
Passport biometric trials point way for ID cards
Now Blunkett wants to charge £39 for ID cards
UK ID scheme complex, costly, won't work, says expert
Public opposes ID cards, govt admits

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.