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Eurosecurocrat plans EU-wide stop'n'scan plodnet

Frattini: 'Compliance will come with time'

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Why not, in fact, also allow the cops to be notified when a citizen of interest to them is street-printed, or indeed whenever a citizen needed to prove their identity? The planned national ID database would make it easy. That way, if the plods wanted to chat to someone they could find that person easily, even abroad. The person of interest would pop up on the network map every time they were street printed, every time they went in and out of a secure area, perhaps every time they used public transport or drove through a toll booth or bought anything or logged onto a biometrically-secured service of any kind.

And hey - you could use all this to find out if benefit cheats were working, or not actually disabled. You could find out whether people were complying with restraining orders or ASBOs. Of course, the UK jails are actually already full, so maybe you couldn't do much about these things; but one can always build more jails.

You could find out if people had lied to tax authorities and insurance companies about where and how they spent their time and money - or told similar fibs on their childrens' school applications, perhaps.

Are we getting close to home yet?

"Compliance will come with time," said Sr Frattini, going a bit ED-209 for a moment - ED-209 Italian style, anyway.

Apart from all that, a network accessible within seconds from a handheld police scanner would seem to be one which might conceivably get hacked now and then. So it might not just be the government doing all these things to terrorists and criminals and fraudsters. It might be almost anyone, doing it to you and me. Or it might be almost anyone misleading the government into thinking that you are in fact a terrorist, criminal or fraudster.

And, as ever, make sure you don't ever antagonise anyone with access to that net. To be on the safe side, best never sleep with a copper, taxman, benefits or council official, insurance investigator or school administrator. Or, if you do, don't two-time them or dump them. Or any of their friends or relatives.

We're all in the same boat

But this is surely no more than irresponsible scaremongering. You don't need, as a UK citizen, to be on any biometric databases under Sr Frattini's plans - though you will have to go through a different and probably much slower channel at immigration.

So just enjoy the benefits - like a slightly increased number of asylum seekers, which is obviously great.

No but wait, there's more.

"As soon as the system starts to operate, third-country nationals will realise that the only way of getting into Europe is via legal channels," said Sr Frattini.

"This will also have a very positive 'side effect', namely, reducing the number of people trying to cross the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in rickety boats, as they will be aware that their biometric identifiers will be immediately taken and thus they will have less chance of slipping through the net."

Huh? So my prints got taken when I made a fraudulent asylum application, which was turned down and I got deported. Then they got taken again when I came back on a rickety boat, and I got deported again.

Why does that mean I won't just get on another rickety boat? Will the fear of getting my fingerprints scanned one day in a stop-and-search and being deported again prevent me, when I'm not afraid of drowning in the rickety boat? When my alternative to living in fear of a fingerprint scan is living in fear of war, or ethnic cleansing, or torture, or just plain old starvation and poverty?

In fact, the EUROSUR maritime radar net plan seems more like an answer to the rickety-boat problem. But that needn't involve Orwellian fingerprint checks on every street.

And one might, even then, speculate that the present reproductive failure of wealthy Europeans (who will probably live to great ages at enormous cost) doesn't sit terribly well with a policy of mostly excluding any new arrivals willing to work hard for not much cash. Presumably the long-term plan will be to have robots look after the elderly and do all the hard work, like in Japan.

Really, this explanation doesn't seem clear or simple at all. ®

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