Feeds

Tories: Europeans could get access to UK ID database

Project STORK. Not STALK.

High performance access to file storage

Exact details remain to be established. The spectre of Austrian police officers (for instance) being able to spy on UK health or biometric records seems pretty remote - let alone the idea that, say, the Turkish government would have their own copies of UK databases as the Tories suggest. On the other hand, it isn't hard to imagine even a quite innocuous implementation of STORK protocols creating some interesting records.

Suppose you did go to France and tax a car using your UK.gov login - forget about ID cards. The French system would need to check with the Brit one that your eID was real, and a record of that check would exist in the relevant logs if nowhere else. A British official wishing to know what you were up to could easily search these files, and say "aha - chummy has just taxed a car in France", or been to see a doctor in Iceland**, or paid property taxes in Slovakia.

Likewise, our own Home Office might soon - if research next year determines that Stork-type ideas are feasible - have a somewhat better handle on just how many Estonians, Slovakians and Spaniards (etc) are using British government services and/or paying British taxes: and whether or not these people have a) obtained their mandatory foreign-resident ID cards and b) been truthful when submitting their details.

Lots of food for thought here. And it has to be said, those worried about the potential for catastrophic errors, bugs, leaks or backdoors in the government IT networks of the future may not find the compliant, ID-card-loving Belgians' choice of tech partner reassuring. ®

Update: Since publication the Home Office have been back in touch. They'd like to reassure everyone that there are "no plans" to share usage information between governments (except as necessary to authenticate eIDs). They also say that the UK Government Gateway doesn't keep any records of transactions "other than temporary ones" (though somebody in the government does - eg the tax people or the DVLA). Finally they say, in answer to whether you could use STORK eID checks to track an individual's activities is "categorically no."

So that's all right then.

*Breaks every rule of Acronym Club, we say. Nobody the Reg spoke to could say who came up with it. Presumably something like Secret Tracking And Law-Enforcement Kommissariat (STALK) didn't seem cuddly enough.

**Iceland is on board with Stork, though not an EU nation.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.