The government is claiming that there is public support for ID cards and Blair has even stated that "there is no longer a civil liberties objection" to ID cards!!?? However the Home Office misrepresented the results of a previous consultation by counting 5,000 individual responses from members of the public, which were submitted via the STAND website, as just one vote! (STAND are the voluntary organisation behind www.faxyourmp.com)
Here's a couple of pieces that are well worth a read, can't recommend them enough - they both cover in-depth the (im)practical implications of the implementation & use of ID cards, and the overall conclusion to draw from them is that the government hasn't really thought it through properly. As the first article concludes, the proposals are Blunkett's "magic bullet" to solve his immigration headaches.
The Register: Everything you never wanted to know about the UK ID card
QUOTE:"So the government reps telling you there's not much in the database and there's a commissioner to mind it, so that's OK, are being really thick, in a 'don't know much about databases' sort of way. They are, without, clearly grasping it, proposing the ID Register as the focus around which an ever-increasing number of personal information databases revolve. They've set themselves a non-trivial task in keeping all of the specified information in the Register accurate and up to date, and the freeform nature of "information relating to an application or entry" will be a particular problem, because it should really be in another kind of database. Indeed, the amount of immigration-related data in the Register makes it look more like an immigration database than a general population register."
UNCORRECTED TRANSCRIPT OF ORAL EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE HOME AFFAIRS COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO IDENTITY CARDS Tuesday 24 February 2004
(This is the evidence of experts in issues of technology & security - but it is a very accessible read)
QUOTE:"Professor [Martyn] Thomas [UK Computing Research Committee]: There is a fundamental issue here which I think will come up a number of times, and that is that the government has identified a number of application areas of the card but nothing that I have been able to find identifies why the ID card as proposed is a solution to any particular problems in those application areas. Until that is done most of the questions you ask in this area do not have an answer because you are not asking the right people. You need to be asking the Home Office."
Another useful link is White Rose: "a protest blog collective focusing on civil liberties in the UK and the rest of world" - http://whiterose.samizdata.net/
Also the STAND site: www.stand.org.uk - and Privacy International(who are holding a public event on ID cards on 19th May : http://www.privacyinternational.org/
Can anyone recommend any good solid practical arguments (or links to the same) with which to respond to the apathetic "if you've done nothing wrong you've nothing to worry about" attitude? i.e. you can say rather abstractly that civil liberties are A Good Thing, and unregulated state power is Bad but how can you demonstrate Why? (People seem to think you have a point if you emphasis the sheer cost & technological wishful-thinking of the whole undertaking, but think you're a bit nuts if you're opposed to ID cards on principle.) Ta.