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Why all the fuss...?
 
Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card

This section contains the in-depth detailed arguments against the introduction of a National Identity Card.

Download this section in pdf format (Approx 15 sides of A4).
Download shorter arguments in pdf format (Approx. 3 sides of A4)
(Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to save to disk) .
See shorter arguments.

Background
What is CASNIC?
What is Biometric?
Why We Are Very Concerned.
Big Brother and Creeping Statism.
Freedom �v- Privacy.
Fighting From Principle Not Pragmatism.
Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear?
Sneaking the Card in by the Back Door.
We Are Not on This Earth to �Stop Crime�.
The Price of 0% Crime is 100% Dictatorship.
Who Gains From an ID Card?
Expensive to Implement.
Who Will Pay?
A Solution Looking for a Problem.
The Card Will Not Stop Terrorism.
Social Security Fraud.
Little Effect on Crime.
Fake ID � a Criminal Industry Worth Billions.
Little Impact on Immigration.
Bureaucratic Nightmare.
Criminalising Ordinary People.
Thought Police.
Compulsion Will be the Final, Logical Step.


Background
 
In November 2003, the government via Home Secretary David Blunkett, announced its intention to introduce a compulsory National Identity Card as quickly as the technology can be proven and the population �softened up� to accept it.

Previous Home Secretaries (notably the current leader of the opposition Michael Howard) have also been in favour of a compulsory National ID card, but technology was unable to deliver a secure and reliable system at that time. Now the technology is almost ready, and the government is moving forward with haste to implement it.

What is CASNIC?
 
CASNIC is the Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card. It is a single-issue protest group set up with the aim of stopping the government introducing a compulsory biometric National Identity Card into the UK. We are also against the gradual introduction of �voluntary� National Identity Cards as a back-door route to compulsion. We are a concerned group of private citizens who wish to protect our fast-vanishing privacy and liberty. All funding is from voluntary individual donations. We are not affiliated to any group, religion, political party or business.

What is �Biometric�?
 
Unlike a photo or a signature (both of which can be easily faked) biometric information is truly unique to you. Fingerprints are nearly, but not quite, good enough (they are not quite unique and they are hard to read and match by computer). Current favourites are iris scans (your iris pattern is almost unique) and DNA (your DNA is also fairly unique). Out of these two, iris scanners are much cheaper and easier to implement in the millions of scanners which will be required �in the field�. Neither fingerprints nor iris scan are 100% unique or foolproof. Both technologies produce many false readings.

Current plans are for iris scans and fingerprints. (Aside: can you imagine the outcry even a few short years ago, if the government had suggested finger-printing every man woman and child in the country?)

Because finger-printing is difficult technology, we are concerned about its inclusion and wonder if the motive is sinister. Here�s why. As you move you do not leave iris scans lying around � hence with iris scanning only, there would be no way to use the database to discover which citizens had been in a certain place. But we do all leave fingerprints around � on everything we touch. Is the inclusion of fingerprint technology an attempt to be able tell retrospectively, which citizens had been at a certain location? (We would not deny the usefulness of this in crime detection. We are discussing civil liberties and privacy here.)

Why We Are Very Concerned
 
In the 21st Century, we occasionally need to prove who we are in our dealings (mainly financial) with our fellow man. Thus we are not against voluntary, private identity documents which do not involve compulsion and do not involve a national, government-controlled Citizen Monitoring Database. For example: bus passes, library cards, bank cards, etc. Put simply, if you elect to have a biometric card issued by (say) ABC Bank, then this is your choice. You can bank there or not, carry their card or not � and you can sue ABC if they release your private information to a third party without your consent. Also, the data is strictly limited (e.g. just your account details if it is a bank card, just your book-borrowing record if it is a library card) and not available to people outside the organisation concerned.

We are against the compulsory introduction of a National
Identity Card for every resident, with its associated �Citizen
Monitoring Database� run by government bureaucrats.

Such a database would ensure the government held a �file� on every person in the UK, with increasing amounts of data being added with each passing year. Initially we would be assured that your government file would only contain innocuous information and that strict safeguards would be in place to protect access and use.

Eventually, however, the file (and card) could contain any and all of the following information:
  • Financial history.
  • Health background.
  • Religion.
  • Ethnicity.
  • Criminal convictions.
  • Purchase history.
  • Physical whereabouts of the �target� citizen.
  • Political profile.
  • Driving convictions.
  • Hobbies, interests, pursuits.
  • DNA profile.
  • Travel history.
Each passing year there would be calls for more data to be added to your card and your government file in the name of �anti-fraud� �anti-crime� �anti-terrorism� �protecting children� �anti tax-evasion� or any one of a number of similar reasons.

To summarise: We are against compulsion and a National Citizen Database with its associated �file� on each one of us, no matter how innocent the information held in each of our files to begin with and no matter how much the government talks about �safeguards�. We are against this on principle.

Big Brother & Creeping Statism
 
The National ID card is a giant leap towards totalitarian �Big Brother� control.

Since this is a strong statement, let us be clear what the government is planning for us.

At an estimated cost of three BILLION pounds, they intend to fingerprint and iris scan the entire UK population, issue each with a numbered �Citizen Card� and start a vast government computer system to keep a file on each one of us. Until now, this is a process normally reserved for serious criminals or despotic, totalitarian dictatorships.

The computers will (indeed must) be sited in secret underground and heavily fortified locations (even the London traffic-tolling computers are hidden away in top secret, closely guarded locations to protect against irate citizens.)

This proposal is not merely a �step too far,� it is one hundred giant paces towards totalitarianism. It is also expensive, unworkable and will produce very little of the advertised benefits (see below).

It will not stop crime, it will not stop terrorism � indeed it could aid both of these.

Whatever the problem or question, the National
Identity Card is not the answer. There are better,
more workable, far cheaper solutions to any problem
raised in support of such a card.

Freedom �v- Privacy
 
We believe in finding a correct balance between preserving our freedom and privacy on the one hand, and satisfying our desire for safety and security on the other.

Such a balance requires wise, benevolent government and constant vigilance from the population. We must be willing to challenge those who would violate our freedom and privacy for their own political or financial gain.

As circumstances alter (e.g. terrorism increases) we must obviously be prepared to re-examine our civil liberties and see if changes need to be made in order to make us all more safe. For example, few would argue about the small reduction in personal freedom as a result of going through a metal detector at an airport. But because our freedoms are so precious, this must never be done as a �knee-jerk� reaction to a current crisis. Because our liberty is essential to a happy and harmonious society, the very strictest safeguards must be put in place to protect it. Each freedom-reducing measure must be proven beyond any doubt to return huge benefits to us all, with minimal interference in our lives.

An example of something which is in harmony with this principle would be airport security baggage scanning. It is a small inconvenience and erosion of our freedom and privacy. The benefits are quite large � hence we all accept it.

An example of something which violates this principle would be making all males between 18 and 70 years old wear a tracking device so that government agents could always know where they were. Advantage: Protecting children from paedophiles. Obviously the intrusion into privacy of the law-abiding majority would not warrant such a draconian measure, almost no matter how many children were protected by it.

(And note how ridiculous these arguments would seem: �If you have nothing to hide, why would you fear wearing this device?� �The government have assured us that adequate safeguards will be in place to make sure only authorised people can track these males.� �I am concerned about the rights of the children to be free from predation, not the rights of these men.�)

Once freedoms are removed, they are rarely restored.

The principle must be:

Absolute minimum interference in the private life of citizens producing maximum improvements in security or other benefits.

The National ID card violates this principle. Indeed it reverses it. Here we have an a massive interference in our rights and freedoms, for very little benefit. (See below)

Fighting From Principle Not Pragmatism
 
This is the key point to our argument and so we must take a little while to explore it in detail.

Ultimately, you cannot fight tyranny and injustice
with practical specific arguments � it must
be fought on principle.

Example: The enslavement of the Negro on cotton plantations had to be fought on principle � i.e. the principle �all men should be free�. It could not be fought on practical grounds (�They need bigger shacks.� �Poorly fed slaves do not work as hard as well fed ones.� �How are we to get the cotton picked?� �They should be whipped less frequently.� �Okay, we�ll free half of the slaves��) Why? Because practical arguments merely result in practical �fixes� to patch up the evil situation. Thus, the slaves would be given larger shacks, better food and be whipped less frequently � but they are still enslaved. Furthermore, if you free ALL slaves but one, still a great injustice and crime is being committed. The principle is that ALL men should be free, not just some.

When you argue on principle, first comes the principled idea: �men are not slaves� � and from this follows, without further argument, �all slaves must be freed�. Secondly come any practical considerations such as �How are we to get the cotton picked?�

Similarly, turning free, independent men and women into numbered �citizens� on a government computer; compelling them to carry government authorisation (permission to live) at all times on pain of fine or imprisonment; holding a file on each of �your� citizens allowing you to monitor, track, profile and control them is wrong on principle, regardless of any practical considerations or advantages.

People either understand this argument straight away or they do not.

If they understand it, all of the practical arguments against an ID card (and there are many) will be merely be the icing on the cake, supporting this basic, principled view.

If they don�t understand it � no amount of practical argument about expense and impracticality will have any effect � it will merely trigger a �fix it� response with suggestions for making the card cheaper or more workable.

In other words, it is not valuable to argue primarily like this:

CASNIC: �The cards will be very expensive.�
A: �That�s okay, they�ll find a way of making them cheaper eventually.�
CASNIC: �They won�t prevent terrorism.�
A: �That�s okay. If it stops just ONE terrorist, it�s worth controlling every person in the UK.�
CASNIC: �They can be faked, they are not secure.�
A: �Initially, maybe. But soon technology will find a way around that, you�ll see.�

Such arguments should be secondary, once you have argued from principle.

Without labouring the point, the slavery analogy follows.

It is not valuable to argue against slavery primarily like this:

You: �Slaves don�t work to maximum efficiency because they feel trapped.�
Me: �Thanks for mentioning it. We are working on ways of making them more efficient by giving them illusory freedom.
You: Slaves often sabotage equipment because they are angry. That�s costing you money.�
Me: �I know. That�s why we are installing cameras in every shack and workplace to control them better.�
You: �But machines could do the work better and cheaper.�
Me: �Agreed. That�s why we�re buying some machines and training the slaves to operate them.�

Such arguments should be secondary, once you have argued from principle.

Hopefully this is clear, but it is worth stating that very few people are used to arguing  from principle.

In short, you either see the civil liberties argument, or you don�t.

If you see the civil liberties argument, you are likely to feel fairly impassioned about it. Maybe you would say something like:

�I am not a numbered worker-drone in a state collective. I was born a free person. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are my natural right - they are not dispensed to grateful citizens by government favour.�

The government would disagree. They might respond with these sound-bites:

�In order to enjoy the freedoms we all believe in, you must... give up your freedom.�

�In order to have a society in which people are not numbers on some dictator's citizen list, you must ...become a number on a government list.�

�In order to catch criminals we must control, monitor and track the innocent.�

�In order to preserve our way of life in which the people control their government, you must ...hand over to the government the tools of total control of the population.�

Does that remind you of Orwell's 1984 with its 'doublespeak' slogans such as Freedom is Slavery, Peace is War?

Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear?
 
Your need for privacy does not, in any way, imply you have something to fear or hide. This is an entirely erroneous notion.

To invade your privacy, someone had better have a very good reason, be it a friend, a colleague, your spouse, the police or the government. One valid reason for the police or government to get involved might be if you were committing criminal acts or strongly suspected of doing so. Then, with due process of law, the police could invade your privacy for a strictly limited period, strictly associated with that criminal activity. Only vicious, out-of-control dictatorial regimes believe in monitoring and controlling all citizens all of the time just �in case� some individuals get up to no good.

If you are still unsure about this �nothing to hide� argument, consider this imaginary situation: The police are demanding powers to put a spy camera into every room of every house in the country, linked back to a central police 24- hour monitoring station. Apparently a lot of crime goes on in people�s houses. Children are molested in the tens of thousands, marital rapes occur by the thousand and criminals use private houses to plot their crimes, deal drugs, counterfeit money and to divide up the spoils of their activities. Such a move would give the police the powers they need to protect vulnerable children and to clean up crime. Hopefully, such a move would fill you with horror. But why? If you have nothing to hide, what could you possibly fear? Are you molesting your children or plotting a crime? No? Well you have nothing to fear.

Hopefully this example should convince you of your right to privacy. Interestingly, we have gone so far down the route of Big Brother State Control that some people reading this would actually welcome the compulsory introduction of these cameras.

Sneaking the Card in by the Back Door
 
Naturally the government currently have �no plans� to add private and personal data to our files, and maintain that they will have �adequate safeguards� in place in any event.

Because the government know that such an enforced database and card would be deeply resented and opposed by the population, precipitating another �poll tax� fiasco, they have decided to introduce the card by stealth.

Here is the game-plan. It involves four steps:
    1. Lulling the people into a false sense of security by talking about �exploratory� green papers, �feasibility studies� and �ten years before compulsion�. People can thus think: �It�s ages away yet and it will probably never happen � I�ll worry about it in a few years�� (Too late.)
    2. Pacifying the middle classes by making them the last on the list for enforcement. First on the list are social security claimants, immigrants and criminals. Everyone else will believe it will never happen to them.
    3. Softening us all up to the technology. Thus the first target for the bio information is passports � even though passport fraud is really a small problem. This is done in the name of �fighting terrorism�. Next it will be driving licences (�fighting illegal drivers�). Then foreigners will have to carry a biometric ID card � who will object? Then social security claimants (on the �anti fraud� ticket) will have to have a card.
    4. When all of this is in place and people have become complacent � the enabling legislation will be passed making it compulsory for every UK resident to have a card, be finger-printed, iris-scanned and have a file opened on the government�s computer. This will doubtless be done �reluctantly� (maybe again under the disguise of �preventing terrorism�).
The fight is lost once ID cards are introduced to any sector of the population. No matter how benign, no matter how little data is kept on each of us at the start, no matter what stringent safeguards are in place, once the Citizen Monitoring Computer has been set up and ID cards issued, the fight is over because it will have been lost on principle.

Each successive year will merely bring more legislation to add more data to the card.

Example: �Muslim fanatics in our midst� � we need your religion to be put on the card as a safeguard at airports etc. If you have nothing to hide, what have you to fear?

Example: �Drunken drivers killing our kiddies.� We need your driving record, speeding fines and drinking habits on the card and on the government file. You car cannot be started without insertion of an ID card. Only �criminals� and �alcoholics� could possibly object.

Example: �Animal rights activists strike again.� We need your purchasing habits and society memberships on file. It will allow us to identify and arrest �dangerous� protesters.

Before we move on to dispute the practical claims for the card (e.g. �it will stop terrorism�), a word about �fighting crime� which encompasses, terrorism, crime and social security fraud in this context.

We Are Not on This Earth to �Stop Crime�
 
The noble purpose of human life is not crime prevention.

Although important, crime prevention should rightly be about number nineteen on the list of things we concern ourselves with. It should lie way below individual rights, human freedom and happiness, education, health, clean water, power, transport, food production and many other areas.

Crime and even terrorism are merely destructive interruptions in the normal flow of a creative, happy and well-lived life.

In actual fact, statistically each of us will suffer very little crime during our life. The chances of being the vicitm of a terrorist incident are almost vanishingly small.

Yet governments, fuelled by the media, would have us believe that �crime prevention� is the single most important thing in life.

The important point is this:

The price of 0% crime is 100% dictatorship.

 
If you make �fighting crime� your most important goal, then human freedom, rights and even basic privacy must be sacrificed to this goal.

Example: Impose a curfew on all citizens after 6 p.m. This would reduce crime and save thousands of lives each year. (You object? Why? Are you a criminal? Don�t you care about all those lives?)

Example: Ban the motor car, smoking and drinking alcohol. Result? A minimum of 15,000 people saved each year who would die needlessly. This includes approximately 5,000 children � equivalent to a full jumbo-jet load of children crashing each month with the loss of all lives. They would all be saved with this new measure. (You object? Do you want all those children to die then? Don�t you care about kids?)

Example: Install a camera in every car, monitor the occupants and control the speed via a satellite. (You object? Are you in favour of people being killed by speeding idiots then? Are YOU one of them? Why else would you oppose it?)

Example: Implant a chip in all of our heads. By tapping the citizen ID into a police computer they can �freeze� any citizen by rendering them temporarily unconscious. Very useful in fighting crime, hostage situations, potential shoot-outs, people running amock with weapons etc. (You object? Why? We have been assured that there are adequate safeguards in place. No citizen need fear this if they are not up to something. Are you in favour of criminals being allowed to rampage around with weapons?)

Hopefully you can see the principle here. The elmination of terrorism and crime is, in fact, an impossibility. Even an attempt to reduce is to (say) 40% of its present level would result in a nightmare dictatorship of state control. It therefore follows that any measures which are taken must be carefully reasoned, balanced and result in big improvements in security for little sacrifice of liberty and privacy.

Having made this important point about principle, all of the following sections now deal with practical secondary arguments against the ID card.

Who Gains From an ID Card?
 
Government. All governments of all persuasions in all countries constantly seek increased power and control � often, by the way, for genuinely benign reasons, but often not. Successive governments-in-waiting in the UK have chattered abut �rolling back the frontiers of the state� � each elected government has done the exact opposite when in power � introduced more laws, higher taxes, more centralisation and stripped away more freedoms. It is central to our argument that a National ID Card and its associated Citizen Monitoring Database are the ultimate enabling tools for corrupt regimes. This government may be benign � but the next? And the next fifty governments?

Basically, do you trust governments to have your best interests at heart?

Big Business. They long for all consumers to be logged, filed and classed according to �demographics� and �spending profiles�. This is not a sinister motive. It merely increases their profits as they can more carefully and cost-effectively target their marketing. Big Business will support all government efforts in this respect. They can afford the considerable costs involved and anticipate far larger profits as a result.

Expensive to Implement.
 
It is a hugely expensive program (lowest estimate is �3 BILLION) the government intend these charges to be passed on to each enforced cardholder in full. More realistic estimates are �9 BILLION when you consider the usual mess-up caused when any government gets involves with impossibly large projects.

Why is the government spending this vast amount of
money on a database to track and log each citizen,
rather than on our health service, crumbling
infrastructure, appalling public transport,
schools or deprived inner city areas?

Who Will Pay?
 
YOU will. Either directly (there are plans to charge you for the privilege of being turned into a number) or through increased taxation. Governments don�t have any money � it all comes from us one way or another. And under a compulsory ID card system, you will be compelled to pay. You will not have a choice. Resistance will be met first with fines and then imprisonment.

A Solution Looking for a Problem
 
The government�s own reasons for bringing in this card are weak. David Blunkett claims it will reduce terrorism, reduce crime, reduce illegal immigration and stop social security fraud.

Let us examine each of these weak arguments in turn.

Terrorism
 
Terrorism is a serious attack on liberty and freedom but the correct response is not the removal of liberty and freedom, because then terrorism will have won. It is also worth recalling that, despite media hysteria, terrorism is a very, very rare event you you are most unlikely to be a victim of a terrorist act in your lifetime. A National Identity Card will not stop or even reduce terrorism � in fact it could aid terrorism as false ID cards can and will be manufactured by criminal gangs. Even the government dropped their tired �fighting terrorism� slogan in 2002 regarding ID cards when they realised it didn�t stack up. David Blunkett has started using it again recently to bolster his other very weak arguments for this draconian measure. Imagine the Sept 11th terrorists abandoning their evil plan because� they didn�t have valid ID cards. That�s not very credible. Will lack of an ID card stop any determined terrorist? No. Can you imagine that fanatical people who set out to bomb buildings and maim innocent men women and children, will now call a halt to their activities because they realise that the risk of being caught is just too great due to the card they all dutifully carry around in their pockets in accordance with the law? Also, many terrorists (e.g. Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma bomber) are �card-carrying citizens� of their own countries, how will an ID card stop that from happening again? Terrorists rarely conceal their identity � only their purpose. The National Identity Card can and will be faked (see below) allowing terrorists to enter the country with fewer security checks than at present. Why? Because if you carry the card, and your eye scan matches that card � then security guards will say �pass friend�, without a second glance. Normal �common sense� anti-terrorism precautions will be dismantled and total reliance placed on the card.

Social Security Fraud
 
It may reduce Social Security ID fraud only (which is a miniscule percentage of the Social Security budget and the smallest area of Social Security fraud). Most such fraud is �understatement of circumstances� not Identity Fraud. The proper way to tackle this almost insignificant area of social security fraud is through proper methods to ensure that only bona fide social security claimants get the money � not compulsory introduction of ID cards for all citizens, claimants or not. (The same class of argument would be the introduction of a compulsory National Identity Card for all because�a few people were borrowing books from libraries using fake names and address and not returning them. The answer � better ID for library users, not a national database for everyone.)

Crime
 
A National Identity Card would do little to stop traditional crime (burglary, assault, theft, rape, mugging, murder�)
 
All other major crime (e.g. fraud and money laundering) may even be aided by such a card. For reasons, see the item above on terrorism.
 
The police so far have been very luke-warm about any alleged crime reduction which will occur as a result. By the police�s own admission they rarely have trouble identifying a suspect � they have trouble catching them in the first place!
 
But one thing is certain. The introduction of such a card will create a huge underground lucrative criminal trade in fake ID estimated to be worth billions. That which can be made by man can be faked by man.

Fake ID
 
It�s a plastic card, made by humans, with a chip, made by humans. Anything made by people can be faked by people.

You could probably not create such a fake card in your garage. But what about an ultra-modern laboratory, run by the most sophisticated criminal minds on the planet, designed and built specifically to clean-up on the estimated �300 BILLION market in counterfeit cards?

Would this headline from The Telegraph, June 2007, surprise you?

�Parliament Bombers Used Fake National Identity Cards to Gain Access to Westminster Palace�

Or this one:
�Counterfeit ID Card Ring Discovered in Taiwan�

Or this one:
�Drug Lords Now Making More on Counterfeit ID Than Drugs, Claims Report�

Also, these cards are produced by people, working in factories (huge factories) staffed entirely by� people. These workers will be, in the main, minimum wage employees. Do you think some of them might be tempted by a bribe of �500, �1,000, �10,000 a time to run a few �specials� through the system, or deliver 100 �blanks� to a guy in the pub, no questions asked? If not them, how about their supervisors or managers? �100k a year �back-hander� is pretty tempting.

It will not be the biometric information which will be faked. In other words, your iris and your DNA are (let us assume) unique and you cannot pretend otherwise. It is the detail on the card that can (and will) be faked. Thus a terrorist will have a false card with his iris scan and his DNA or fingerprints, but a fake name address and citizen number � all illegally (but properly) registered on the Citizen Computer by (say) a paid insider. When he uses the card at the airport, the iris scan will match the card but his record will come up as John Doe, 43 The Street, Anytown � whereas he is really Mr A Terrorist, c/o Osama Enterprises etc. Remember, there is no �iris� or �DNA� actually on the card � all that is there will be a lot of ones and zeros (a digital code) representing your iris and your DNA.

So it is highly likely that terrorists and criminals will be running around with fake ID (their real iris scan and their real DNA but linked to a fake record), whereas the law-abiding citizens will be subjected to yet more government scrutiny and control. If this seems hard to believe, consider guns. The government stripped tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens of their legitimate sport rifles and pistols and closed down almost every gun shop in the UK. Meanwhile, armed criminals freely roam around our inner cities, laughing at such laws. The going price for an illegal hand-gun in London is �50 according to a recent undercover newspaper investigation. �100 if you want fifty 9mm rounds with it. A sub-machine gun? Yours for �250. The law-abiding citizens are controlled and penalised, the criminals laugh.

Immigration
 
Immigrants already are subject to stringent ID checks and must have their fingerprints taken. Illegal immigrants often arrive with no ID whatsoever, having shredded their passports in an attempt to become faceless and backgroundless. A National ID Card will do nothing to stop this problem. If illegal immigration is seen as a problem, the solution is better border control, faster deportation of illegals and better agreements with our neighbouring countries. The solution is NOT a National Identity Card for the 60 million people who are not illegal immigrants!

Bureaucratic Nightmare
 
It will create a vast bureaucracy of expensive employees to maintain the system of tagging citizens, issuing cards, and dealing with lost and stolen cards, change of address and details, issuing fines, etc. Governments are, historically, truly terrible at such large national projects and so costs are most likely to double, triple or worse. Can you imagine the total chaos of trying to fingerprint and iris scan sixty million people and then keep track of sixty million files on these citizens?

Criminalise Ordinary People
 
It will criminalise tens of thousands of innocent people as it will eventually be an offence not to carry your card and present it on demand to an authorised state official. Be very clear that the government intend a compulsory system. With compulsion comes penalties for disobedience. The penalties will be fines for non-payment, fines for not carrying your card or producing it when requested. Fines for refusal to apply for a card and eventual imprisonment if you persist. Naturally the government are keeping very quiet about this, claiming this is a way off in the future and we do not need to worry our heads about it right now. Eventually, the following will all be offences:
  • Failure to apply for a card within the prescribed period.
  • Failure to produce a card on demand by a government agent.
  • Failure to notify the Citizen Monitoring Database of a change of details (e.g. change of address).
  • Holding an out of date card.
  • Providing incorrect data for the government file held on you.
  • Attempting to access services without valid ID.
Thought Police
 
One of the major disadvantages of the card is the way it will make us constantly and habitually defer to state control on a daily basis. Thus: �Have I got my ID card? What if I�m stopped? Must remember not to go out without it. Hope I�m not caught this time�� and �Should I buy this book on Islamic Jihad? What if it ends up on my record? Maybe I�d better not visit that country � it would look bad on my file. Maybe I won�t buy that extra bottle of wine � it could damage my health record and affect my insurance premiums�� This kind of �thought control� is very gradual and very insidious. We have been softened-up already by the introduction of over two million spy cameras into the country. Always now we wonder �Am I being monitored? Who is watching me?� This would have been totally unthinkable even ten years ago.

Compulsion Will be the Final, Logical Step
 
The government will hold off from compulsion until the very last possible moment because they know this move will be deeply unpopular. By the time the government legislate for every citizen to have biometric ID (compulsion), they hope the following will be in place (the �softening-up� process):
  • Passport to have biometric information.
  • Driving licences to have biometric information.
  • Tens of millions of �voluntary� ID cards in place for those who must access government services such as health, dentistry, benefits, pensions, council housing, etc.
  • ID cards become a de facto �Government Permission to Live� without which, no real quality of life will be possible. Millions more apply for the card because not having one is increasingly making life intolerable.
When all of this is in place, the stage will be set for legislation to make it compulsory. It is far too late to fight at that point. Within a very short time, without an ID card (compulsory or not) you will:
  • Not be able to draw benefits. [Benefit fraud.]
  • Not be able to operate a bank account. [Financial fraud and money laundering.]
  • Not be able to own shares or deal in them. [ditto]
  • Not have access to a dentist or a doctor. [Prevention of those not entitled.]
  • Not be able to drive a car. [Prevention of those not entitled.]
  • Be refused Internet access. [Anti child pornography, Internet fraud etc.]
  • Not be allowed out or into the country. [Anti terrorism.]
  • Not be allowed to travel on internal flights, and then eventually trains. [Anti terrorism.]
  • Be unable to purchase anything over a nominal value of, say, �1,000. [Financial fraud and tax evasion.]
The items in square brackets above refer to the government justification for the card, not to actual benefits of the card. As we have seen, the card will have little if any impact on these areas.

Whatever the problem or question, the National Identity Card is not the answer. There are better, more workable, far cheaper solutions to any problem raised in support of such a card.

If you care about your privacy and freedom please
join us in our fight to stop this right now.
NOW is the time to fight. Please help us.
Click here to find out what you can do
to help the fight.