Disillusioned Discordian

Government ID scheme trapped between a rock and a hard place
January 24, 2008, 1:20 pm
Filed under: ID Cards / Surveillance

There was news today that two major companies bidding for the commercial contract to develop the governments ID card scheme have pulled out of the bidding. Sources close to the companies have cited their frustration with the IPS’ uncertainties with the time line and design criteria of the scheme. This follows the leaked news that the planned implementation for Biometric ID cards for the majority of UK citizens will now be delayed until after the next election. Leaked documents are always a positive sign that ministers and civil servants within government are opposed to the scheme. My political speculation is that the government is seeking to do two things by delaying full roll out for ID cards.Firstly they get to trial the complex system on smaller more manageable groups of society. Initially this year it will be foreign nationals that get ID cards. This ties in nicely with the international efforts to setup ‘E-Boarders’ to control the flow of populations. As a demographic group, they have has less political clout on the national political scene; or in other words, people will be less bothered if a foreign national is compelled to have an ID card. Various security fears such as terrorism, illegal immigration and illegal working will also provide the Government with a stronger hand in pushing out ID cards to this group of the population. The next stage of roll-out will be ‘trusted’ peoples’, this phrase sounds creepy, and refers to those in the security forces, civil servants etc. It is probably deemed that those in this sector are less likely to be opposed to ID cards as their role is in part to be an instrument of the state. In this sense they will become the trusted ID card carrying citizens of the state, whereas the rest of us will be the ‘un-trusted’ masses; possibly capable of civil disorder. Finally young people seem to be signalled out. In part because this group will all be requiring their first new passport this makes them unable to ‘Renew for Freedom’; but also because the government could use secondary legislation such as those that govern the sale of alcohol, tobacco, and the provision of student loans to bring in compulsion via the back door. This would avoid them facing a possible defeat in the House of Commons on over the issue of compulsion in the ID card Act 2006. If all goes to plan for them then a vast swath of the population would require an ID card to partake in society, whilst they could maintain they were not ‘compulsory’ and without and changes to the ID card Act 2006.The second benefit to the government is that this moves the issue of compulsory introduction of ID cards until after the next election. With the Lib Dems and Conservatives strongly opposed to ID cards it is one of the few issues that really sets the parties apart. The threat of civil disobedience against ID cards has the government is scared to have the issue being fought out towards the end of a parliamentary term. Instead they want to fudge the issue and sneak it in bit by bit over a longer period of time.However the planned development of ID cards is now being driven by the political agenda, rather than a considered ID project plan. Neo-labour has to delay implementation and change the nature of the scheme as it develops as they don’t have the political clout to set out their plans in advance. This is bad news for the companies though as anyone who has worked on a large IT project will tell you, you need a clear and precise outline of the design requirements and a time table for implementation to create a successful project.No wonder this ill thought out scheme which the British public are soon to defeat is starting to seem like a less and less attractive business proposal for the large IT companies. 


1 Comment so far
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Great Work Moon.
Keep on Keeping On.

Comment by long time no see

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