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Identity Cards

One Step Toward A Police State.

by Julian H. Stacey

Web Reference (URL)

First written July 2005
Since then the UK Labour party got voted out of office, & The Conservative & Liberal Government discarded the ID Card Project prior to 2012, & those few who bought them wasted their money smiley face icon But the threat is still with us, other clowns & rogues in Britain & other countries will periodically press for it.

Is the author informed & balanced, or obsessed ?

  • I don't obsess or spend large amounts of time on this, (I haven't even spent enough time to re-sort this page into a logical sequential presentation: I'm not a journalist, no one's paying me, I don't have some political party agenda to promote. & I have numerous other technical & social interests of higher precedence,.
  • Professionally & privately, I have always worked in engineering & computing etc.
  • Most non computer people don't realise how far monitoring has already got, in practice & potential.
  • I've long been interested in reading history, triggering thoughts on how technology could be abused.
  • Few people seem to give much thought to companies, governments, & criminals' current & coming ability to monitor & impact people.


  • Section needs re-arranging
    • Germany & some other countries etc still use ID cards.
    • UK government again presses to shove ID cards on citizens. (The same UK govt. that wanted (but failed) to deny citizens privacy through computer encryption).
    • Regular trendy customers of a Spanish disco/ part open air night club were featured on a German TV documentary with ID devices installed invisibly under the skin on upper outer left forearm near shoulder, to prove membership & avoid using money.
    • Cows have numeric ear tags.
    • Dogs in Germany can get a sub cutaneous ID injected, a "Return to owner" ID
    • An English professor of cybernetics had a chip inserted in him for a month to log what he was up to, interesting idea from the technological aspect, but also stupid & irresponsible, encouraging the way for others to later misuse technology.
    • Consider doing some reading, film watching & thinking:
    • Read what the Nazis did to their Jewish & some other citizens in WW2, starting with being numbered on lower inner arm.
    • Think how much easier all that would be now with all the extra technology of a police state available.
    • Consider Stalin, Pol Pot, central African republic/Chad, Idi Amin, Apartheid south Africa & the pass laws, N. Korea, The Serbs (& the other side to lesser extent in Yugoslavia), Ghadafi, Assad .. lots of governments have treated citizens badly, & would love to have more technology to enforce more efficient police states. The West may be better, but no paragons, Remember the pictures of the sailors lined up along the edge of the ship as live test dummies, watching the atomic bomb ? The dark mutterings of an American friend of mine about 2 tours in Vietnam & the agent orange he reckoned he'd absorbed. The British ministry of defence also defends itself against some aggrieved ex service personnel. Many European countries indulged in illegally assisting American kidnapping of people from Europe to Guantanamo (sure some likely guilty, some probably innocent, but the process was illegal. _ Lesson: Governments cheat too. While some governments & states Are better than others, all have some skeletons in the cupboard, any country can get a few [new] rogues, & if rogues get to positions of influence ....
    • Watch the film Brazil, Read Fahrenheit 451, & 1984,
    • Considering chips in USA German & British passports, ( & how a German student showed how easy it was to crack the British passport).
    • Foot-cuffs with transponders enforcing house arrest.
    • British super injunctions (2011) that didn't even allow one to admit being constrained by an injunction.
    • Think a about the ID in your credit card,
    • the IP number in your computer,
    • the personal data logging of major search engine companies,
    • the personal data logging of shops using `Loyalty Bonus" chip cards.
    • The bio data in German health insurance cards, that my doctor says is (at 2012 04) still under debate as to if its legal to use.
    • If you get scanned for some health issue, & found to be higher risk, do you want that info free to flow to health insurance companies ?
    • the legally enforced back doors into ISPs by government surveillance, no, not just in repressive China, but in supposedly liberal Britain & Germany too.
    • The states such as China that seem to be the concern of some many other countries to defend against re Internet.
    • If you'r worried about all of rogue companies, rogue countries, rogue groups of crackers (yes Hacker Is the wrong word, Crackers are the bad guys), maybe a future government of your own going rogue, criminals intent on ID theft, governments purchasing stolen data (eg 2011 Germany agonised about, then bought stolen tax records on a CDROM so they could prosecute tax evaders), & maybe some of those may at some time be in league with others, perhaps lubricated by cash sums or other incentives to groups or individuals -
      Why would you want machine readable ID cards ? Turkeys don't vote for Christmas !
    Even if you trust the current government in your country, do you want to trust the one after next ?
    Data once published is hard or impossible to retract. ID Cards once in are easier to keep in place, better not to let them in.

    Next ?

    Chipping people with ID sets dangerous precedent, & paves the way to worse.

    After ID cards, perhaps some years later, mandatory sub cutaneous insertion of government issued ID number ? Perhaps not in your country, but some other country first, that your politicians can then point to, & promote to also adopt. Not on all adults either to start, (too many to rebel), so start on children of a certain age or social misfits first, then work outward ?

    Later add a small capsule to the ID device. Not to all people, just eg ex criminals to start with, to make sure certain people don't walk past certain entry/ exit portals. With 2 compartments: A paralyser that mostly won't kill healthy humans, just be replaced in hospital, + a 2nd terminator poison, activated initially only in rare cases, eg known criminal, who has committed another murder & not been captured yet, or government security cleared worker who disappears with state secrets (Look what lengths Israel went to, to recapture Vanunu outside Israel). Then gradually introduce it to ever wider groups in society.

    Just fiction like "1984" & "Logan's Run" ? Or Possible ?

    We don't quite have all the technology convenient yet, I think. We will soon though. (The capsule bit may be a nasty spin off from automated medical treatment of ambulant but forgetful or unaware patients, who would be better benevolently monitored & kept healthy by computer.) Technology gets used, inc. nuclear & biological weapons. Hitler, Pol Pot, Milosevic?, & the African genocides have shown governments & officials on various continents can become lethal. Probably lots of people there also complacently said "Something like that'd never happen Here".

    Don't trust Governments

    Additional to regimes that descend to genocide, even supposedly civilised governments will have rogue elements, eg Members of the French secret service blew up the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand. (Greenpeace was an irritant to French nuclear testing). History shows it can take just a few years for some governments to occasionally descend to become truly evil. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Governments extend power at expense of citizen freedom. Some distort the truth to get more power. Government has it's own interests: politician's & `civil' servant's. Some power is needed for public safety, to repress criminals & terrorists, but `State Security', does not equate to collective `Personal Security'.

    Every liberty you sacrifice to perhaps current mostly `benificient' government in the name of security, will be harder to try to recover under future more controlling governments, that will likely seek yet more control (& have your ID card to identify you as a a known political dissident.

    ID cards are one step toward a police state.

    Transient terrorist atrocities do scare people. But ID cards didn't stop the German Red Army Faction blowing people up. Forcing ID cards on UK citizens wouldn't (IMO) have prevented the July 2005 bombings by the 3/4 UK citizens of Pakistani genetic descent.

    Life is full of risks. It's a trade off. A balancing act. Don't be naive enough to believe all governments, politicians, & administering civil servants are to be trusted.

    "I'm Not A Criminal, So I Have Nothing To Fear." - Wrong!

    That's what fools say. An ID card is the thin end of the wedge. It will get worse.

    With computerised personal ID, vehicle ID, & ever improving face recognition computers, in a future police state, it'll be every easier for a "Nanny State" to control not just criminals but your every move, for everyone, eg:

    • Link sales computers to refuse to sell you more than so many burgers, cigarettes, ice cream or alcohol per week, 'cos you are already, or would get too fat/unhealthy, as verified by your national & private health insurance computers, that don't want to pay for higher chance of heart attack treatment.
    • Refuse to sell you what they consider to be not an officially authorised colour of paint for your house exterior, relating to where they deduce you to live. (Germans are forced by law to register their address. Americans have laws about what colour they can paint their houses) Imagine needing an affidavit to confirm you were helping a friend to paint his house, & though You weren't allowed to use yellow, he was. ;-)
    • Sell your force-ably collected consumption & travel etc information to commercial companies for targeted advertising. (advertising revenue might be justified by lowering communal taxes) Adverts might include "we see you regularly travel toward the (legal) brothel, would you like to buy our soft pornography or rubber goods.
    • Disable or detune your car's future engine management system during periods of pollution, even though you have a personal emergency, & Really need your vehicle that day.
    • Refuse to give you airplane boarding clearance, or your car or passenger bus/ national (or even city) exit/ entry clearance, because someone, perhaps an unknown fellow passenger, has not paid his taxes recently enough.
    • So you think `They" wouldn't trouble you if you just stayed home & watched TV ? ;-)
      China has a one child policy, right ? So you have an ID card, a TV satellite decoder card, a computer with network ID (MAC) built in, likely purchased by a credit card, (with ID of course), Your satellite receiver with encrypted movie has a phone connection to call back to TV company ? (Some do using some channels on Astra) (Your phone may also call back to manufacturer with info (some Amstrad's do)) ... So your Satellite/ Cable TV & or computer combo is ever more likely to know just who you are & what you watch. Your country may decide you've had enough frisky input that might inspire sexual reproduction, or too much violent etc stimulus exceeding the quota allowed by your government/ insurer for health & social policy purposes. - You might find your TV automatically censored.

    "They Won't Want To Repress Us !" - Wrong !

    Why not ? There's a lot of power & profit to be had out of repressing people. There's no limit to how power & money hungry governments & corporations could abuse ever increasingly computer automated personal identification, unless people draw the line & obstruct their government & or equipment supplying corporations from going that way. Best start by objecting to ID Cards !

    Not all governments are so intrusive, yet, but many companies will delight in profitably manufacturing & supplying the technology.

    Last century one worry was the convergence of government, military & manufacturers to an unholy alliance. Less money in that now I guess. I suspect the worry will increasingly be all the companies that will seek to work with government to regulate, tax, exploit & eventually repress the identified citizen consumer.

    UK has cameras analysing all vehicle number plates entering London. Germany taxes Autobahns (just lorries (trucks) for now), supported by camera analysis of vehicle number plates. UK & other prisoners get security radio tagged to not leave a short radial distance from home. The new alliance has started. It's not bad yet. Watch it grow profitably for the alliance of government & industry.

    I'm not an implant surgeon or poison specialist, just a Computer Systems Engineer, keen to provide computerised Products & Services. I might find some of the above schemes interesting to develop from a technical view, but wouldn't want to from an ethical view. smiley face icon Others may not be unwilling to purchase & develop similar systems. Some do anything for money or power.

    Good systems engineers are trained to consider All possibilities, not just most likely scenarios, because sooner or later something always Does go wrong. Same with ID cards, most places won't abuse machine readable ID for a while, some will though.

    Think about identity cards, machine readable especially as they're all becoming, & what may come next, sooner & later. Discuss with your friends & tell them what you Don't want. If enough of us tell people, some may be the politicians that can steer policy away from a police state requiring machine readable identity cards or (Shudder!) later body identity implants. Like cows to slaughter !

    (Some) Other Pages I've Written.

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