ID cards 'very much on the political agenda'

ID cards 'very much on the political agenda'

Summary: ID cards seem to be back on the fast track as Tony Blair says there are 'no longer' civil liberties issues

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

The terrorist threat to the UK will lead to ID cards being introduced "more quickly than even we anticipated", according to the prime minister, Tony Blair.

Blair's comments at his monthly briefing to journalists follow on from the "route map" to ID cards unveiled by the UK Passport Service earlier this week.

"I think that the whole issue of identity cards that a few years ago were not on anyone's agenda are very much on the political agenda here, probably more quickly even than we anticipated, and that is because we are living in a new world and with a new threat that we have to take account of," he said.

It means the Cabinet's deal to delay the introduction of ID cards seems to have been thrown out of the window and that Blunkett will be given the go-ahead to fast-track the project. Blair also claimed the current climate had lessened privacy concerns and that there "is no longer a civil liberties objection".

That seems at odds with the civil liberties groups themselves, who this week formed a global alliance to protest at the worldwide introduction of biometric ID cards, a national 'identity register' and RFID tags.

Blair said that the biggest ID card issue needing to be addressed is the logistics -- part of which is being examined in trials by the UKPS.

"There is a series of logistical questions, of practical questions, those need to be resolved, but that in my judgment now, the logistics is the only time delay in it, otherwise I think it needs to move forward," he said.

Topic: Emerging Tech

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  • Sorry but I certainly haven't had any of my fears about the civil liberties issues resolved... I simply haven't heard anymore about it in the media other than the recent statements from Blunkett that it's all go now.

    Not a government I would trust.

    Anyhow isn't the rushing of all these kinds of anti-terrorist meassures just giving in to the terrorists?
  • I'm not too bothered by the idea of introducing I.D. cards as I already carry six assorted credit and debit cards, a membership card for my local working mans club, and a JIB electricians card with my name, photograph and national insurance number on it. It would be pretty difficult to petend to be someone else! Seriously though I have never had anyone ask to see any of these things, even visiting germany where you have to carry your passport in lieu of an identity card I have never been asked to produce it except at border crossings . I do understand the worries about such a system being abused but it's probably the lesser of two evils nowadays.
  • ID cards are I think a great idea providing they are designed to be extremely difficult to forge. During ww2 everyone in England was required to carry one and I think the only objectors might be those who have something to hide.
  • 1). There has been limited and obfuscated public debate (the original proposal was for 'Entitlement Cards', remember?)

    2). Nobody has told me how these are supposed to stop terrorists? Especially if this is their first criminal act, as it was for some of the September 11th attackers.

    3). It's going to be massively expensive, and everyone but the vendors seems to believe that the technical hurdles are huge.

    4). It would be cheaper to tighten up business processes than try a silver bullet. What use is an ID card if you're fast tracking fraudulent immigration applications?
  • I feel ID Cards to be a good step forward in the right direction, but they have to be 'secure' & unforgeable. I don't see where the 'Civil Liberties' Brigade get off telling us they are intrusive. Every person resident in this country carried ID during WWII, why not in the near future? If it's a block on terrorism, or illegal immigration, then I'm all for it. Bring it on!
  • If anyone thinks that organised criminals/terrorists will not find a way around getting a fake ID, then they are living in cuckooland. Even if it means paying someone a large amount of money to edit the main database on their behalf, it is inevitable.
    This makes the whole thing a politcal sham, very much like the invasion of Iraq... ie It sounds like they are doing something constructive but in reality they are not.