Feeds

'Fascist' ID database worries Lords

Creeping compulsion

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The House of Lords called upon the ancient liberties enshrined in British common law last night when it ping-ponged the ID Cards bill back to the House of Commons.

The Lords stood by its previous amendment to the bill, rejected last month by MPs, that prevents the cards from being introduced by "creeping compulsion".

But it accepted the Dobson amendment, endorsed by MPs last month, that watered down powers of scrutiny it had previously tried to impose on the ID Cards project - 227 to 166

Much of the Lords' concern about ID Cards has focused on the national identity register, a proposed database of every British citizen.

Baroness Park of Monmouth said the database constituted a threat to the freedoms enjoyed by British people: "We must be very, very careful not to bring on ourselves a system that cannot but be fascist, in the end."

Lord Phillips of Sudbury agreed, and said ID Cards "could create an insidious chemistry between the citizen and the state," characterised by "intrusive, all-knowing state [and a] culture of complacency" among the people.

Details of the register that emerged during the last ID Cards debate in the House of Commons showed that it is a more extensive scheme than the government liked to admit. The register itself would contain only basic information, but it would also have keys to 13 other government databases, making it a one stop-shop for information about individuals. Many critics says that this makes the information less secure.

Ultimately, last night's talk was over a single line from Labour's election manifesto that stated ID Cards would be introduced voluntarily when someone applied for a passport. The government subsequently maintained that the voluntary aspect of the application was in the choice of whether to get a passport or not - a person applying for a passport "must" also get an ID Card, said the bill.

Although compulsion appears inevitable, explicit compulsion will have to be enforced by primary legislation after debate in both houses, probably in about 10 years.

However, the "creeping compulsion" that would be introduced by tying ID Cards to passports would make any future legislation over compulsion academic. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.