UK Government's Endless Lies Over ID Cards
Stealth surveillance state agenda revealed by declassified papers
Steve Watson

Monday, April 9, 2007  

Yet more declassified papers have emerged that prove that the British Government has consistently attempted to mislead the public over ID cards and retention of biometric information. A second set of papers also shows that the government has embarked on a huge programme of fingerprinting school children without Parliamentary debate or oversight.

As reported by the Mail on Sunday yesterday, Whitehall papers, which the government has fought for two years to suppress, disclose that Blair's government has always intended to force the public to sign up to the programme, despite consistently stating that the cards, and the national identity register containing people's names, addresses, fingerprints and other information, would be 'on a voluntary basis'.

The papers, released under the Freedom Of Information Act, state that from 2014 - Year 7 of the project - 'The identity card scheme is now compulsory'.

The papers also confirm that the government's projected figures for ID cards cutting benefit fraud are based not on any facts but on pure guesswork.

Former Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten, who successfully fought to get the internal documents published, said: "They show Ministers had no basis to claim the cards would combat benefit fraud, that from the very beginning the cards were going to be compulsory and that Ministers were consistently not telling the truth about their true intentions."

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The latest documents come swiftly on the back of a previous set of government papers that stated “Compulsion will be triggered once 80% take-up is achieved in [the first quarter of] 2019... It is assumed that, following compulsion, a 100% registration will be achieved two years later.”

Last month a government official in charge of the scheme revealed that anyone who attempts to resist the ID card and database system in the UK will never be able to leave the country.

James Hall, the official in charge of the supposedly-voluntary scheme, said the Government would allow people to opt out - but in return they must "forgo the ability" to have a travel document.

This constitutes another gross untruth on the part of the government given that a supposed "opt out" clause was promised as demanded by the Lords in order for the ID cards bill to pass Parliament.

In a further dereliction of duty the government plans not to keep your biometric information safe as promised, but instead intends to sell access to personal information stored on the database to banks and other private companies, for around 60p a time, in order to finance the scheme which is expected to run into the billions according to studies by leading economic experts.

A top firm of headhunters is already working for the government, seeking a consultancy expert to market the benefits of the database to the private sector.

The government was again exposed on the biometric issue when it was also revealed last month that children as young as 11 will have their fingerprints taken and stored, even though the ID card bill specifically only applies to adults above the age of 16.

The London Times reported:

The leaked Home Office plans show that the mass fingerprinting will start in 2010, with a batch of 295,000 youngsters who apply for passports.

The Home Office expects 545,000 children aged 11 and over to have their prints taken in 2011, with the figure settling at an annual 495,000 from 2014. Their fingerprints will be held on a database also used by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to store the fingerprints of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers.

Yet more documents have been released today under FOIA that show the government has long been engaged in a back door program to collect the fingerprints of children in schools all over the country, in many cases without the knowledge of parents.

The mail reports that Freedom of Information data obtained by the Tories reveals a further 4.9 million sets of prints could now be added to school computers after the vast majority of local education authorities sanctioned the practice.

Critics say it is part of a 'softening-up' exercise to condition children to accept a creeping surveillance society. They also point to the danger of identity theft, if hackers manage to access school databases.

Phil Booth, of the NO2ID campaign, said: "This is an abrogation of moral duty. Schools should be teaching children to look after their biometric information.

"They are going to grow up in a world where keeping it secure is enormously important, yet they are being taught that it is OK to hand it over for the most trivial of matters. It is a disgrace."

As of 2009 anyone who applies for a passport in Britain will also be issued with an ID card, for which they must also provide fingerprints, biometric details such as a facial scan and a wealth of personal details - including second homes, driving licence and insurance numbers.

The government has been caught lying and misleading on the ID issue so frequently that it is now clear that anything they say about it cannot be trusted and is usually the exact opposite of the reality of the situation.



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