London Indymedia

No2ID: Biometric ID-Cards On The Way

imc london | 18.05.2004 22:05 | Technology | London

The government has introduced draft legislation for potentially compulsory biometric identity cards and a central database of all citizens. A trial of related biometric technology has already been launched. The card system will cost at least £3 billion and is likely to become an essential part of life for everyone residing in the UK. Read more.

Home Secretary David Blunkett thinks that the "ID Card Scheme is the key to the UK's future" whilst affirming that they will be a crucial tool in the "prevention of terrorism" and against "illegal immigration". Citizens organisations such as Privacy International, Stand, Liberty, Statewatch and FIPR strongly refute these views. On Wednesday 19 May in London they held a public meeting under the title "Mistaken Identity".

The meeting gave a resounding vote of no-confidence over the national Identity Card. Leading politicians, lawyers, regulators, security experts and civil libertarians were unanimous in condemning the proposals. The president of the Law Society, representing 116,000 solicitors throughout the UK, also warned in his statement (pdf) that the government's draft legislation contained dangerous provisions. For corporate media coverage, see the articles from, BBC, and the Guardian.

A similar meeting was held on May 20th in Glasgow.

Defy ID Network | A complete guide to the UK ID card | Liberty on ID Cards | More Links

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imc london


Hide the following 7 comments

Lets stop it now

20.05.2004 12:47

Amazing how complacent people are. Stop ID cards Now. Remember the Jews had ID Cards thats how the Nazi's found them.


where the volunteers are coming from

20.05.2004 14:05

volunteeers are being recruited by the mori co (opinion pollsters) on the street outside the passport office just behind victoria railway station westminister.

I D hi !

ID tracking hell

20.05.2004 22:33

No doubt the chip in the ID card will also contain a tag that will be trackable by GPS and mobile phone mast to within 3 metre accuracy much as the tag given to released paedophiles is at present
It will no doubt contain such data as criminal record and credit and debit facilities as originally proposed by Blunkett
Pressure will also be applied to have the information subdermally inserted as with the current vogue with valuable animals and with the surveyed views of parents with regard to children
This will be brought forward much from the 10 year universal compulsion presently mooted
Give it 3 - 5 years at the most
And see this piece

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that it was about to begin testing a new technology designed to help more closely monitor and assist the nation's homeless population. While HRSA's program appears to be the first to forcibly implant humans with RFID tags, the technology is becoming more widely adopted as retailers use it to track goods. Wal-Mart Stores said last year that it will require its top 100 suppliers to place RFID tags on shipping crates and pallets by January 2005.

Chris Hoofnagle, deputy director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the mandatory RFID program would be vulnerable to a legal challenge. "It is a glaring violation of the Tenth Amendment, which says that powers not awarded to the government are reserved to the people, and homeless people have just as many Tenth Amendment rights as everyone else," said Hoofnagle, who is speaking about homeless privacy at this month's Computers Freedom and Privacy conference in Berkeley, Calif.

A spokesman for the National Coalition for the Homeless, which estimates that there are between 2.3 million and 3.5 million people experiencing homelessness nationwide, said the pilot program could be easily abused. "We have expressed our tentative support for the idea to HRSA, but only if it includes privacy safeguards," the spokesman said. "So far it's unclear whether those safeguards will actually be in place by roll-out."

Under the pilot program, which grew out of a series of policy academies held in the last two years, homeless people in participating cities will be implanted with mandatory Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that social workers and police can use track their movements.

The miniscule RFID tags are no larger than a matchstick and will be implanted subdermally, meaning under the skin. Data from RFID tracking stations mounted on telephone poles will be transmitted to police and social service workers, who will use custom Windows NT software to track movements of the homeless in real time.

In what has become a chronic social problem, people living in shelters and on the streets do not seek adequate medical care and frequently contribute to the rising crime rate in major cities. Supporters of subdermal RFID tracking say the technology will discourage implanted homeless men and women from committing crimes, while making it easier for government workers to provide social services such as delivering food and medicine.
Duke called the RFID tagging pilot program "a high-tech, minimally-intrusive way for the government to lift our citizens away from the twin perils of poverty and crime." Participating cities include New York City, San Francisco, Washington, and Bethlehem, Penn.

Participating states will receive grants of $14 million to $58 million from the federal Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness
(PATH) program, which was created under the McKinney Act to fund support services for the homeless. A second phase of the project, scheduled to be completed in early 2005, will wirelessly transmit live information on the locations of homeless people to handheld computers running the Windows CE operating system.

The RFID technology was developed by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in partnership with five states, including California and New York. "This is a rare opportunity to use advanced technology to meet society's dual objectives of better serving our homeless population while making our cities safer," HRSA Administrator Betty James Duke said.

Copyright © 2001-2004 United Press International

Anastasia Wietrzychowska
State Director, Mutual UFO Network, CT


there's hope

21.05.2004 01:48

An article in the Guardian today refers to findings that suggest that though there is majority support, 4.9 million people could still join protests -

"According to polls, there is between 60% and 80% support for identity cards. The lower figure came from a YouGov poll commissioned by Privacy International, a major player in no2id. It extrapolated from further questioning that an estimated 4.9m people could take to the streets to protest against the scheme."

Though this is from a poll funded by an anti-ID group it is still promising. The Guardian article also made the interesting point that at the moment the simplistic argument 'If you've got nothing to hide, than why are you bothered?' etc is winning the war of opinion and that an equally popularist and catchy counter point may have to be found to secure massive opposition. Appealing to civil liberties may win us over but not everyone will be convinced.

The most obvious yet effective point I've come across is the basic observation that in order to trust Biometric ID you must also trust both politicians AND technology.



21.05.2004 15:39


Some arguments against ID Cards (What have you got to hide?):

 Do you think it would be acceptable to have CCTV cameras on public footpaths in the countryside? on the beach? in your back garden? in your house? - No? Why not? Have you got something to hide! Of course you haven’t – you just don’t want the authorities peering at you all the time. You value your freedom and privacy

 Should curtains be forbidden so that the police can look into your house to check you’re not doing something wrong? NO? Why not ? Have you got something to hide! Of course you haven’t – you just don’t want people peering at you all the time. You value your freedom and your privacy. People draw their curtains at night, not because they ‘have something to hide’, but because they don’t want to be peered at. They merely want to preserve their privacy.

 The authorities already have all the information they need on us. We’re quite happy to show our passports, our driving licenses our National Insurance nos. WHY do they need us to have ID cards as well?

 The natural state is for people to be free. If anybody – or the State – wants to remove any of our freedoms (including the freedom to go out of your house without an ID card – the freedom to go shopping, go to the beach, walk in the hills, sail on boats, visit your friends without an ID card) - THEY have to convince YOU that it is necessary. Its for NOT for YOU to convince them why they shouldn’t take away your freedom. LET THEM JUSTIFY IT TO YOU.

 Identity cards are compulsory in Spain, France and Germany. However, they haven't stopped terrorist attacks in these countries (including the recent terrible Madrid train bombings) or stopped very high levels of illegal immigration into these countries.

 ID cards will not provide any benefits to the public - they will be just another tool by which the State can exercise further control over ordinary people.

 ID cards will mean that any policeman, at any time, could stop you in the street and demand to see all your personal information at a glance. Why should you have to tolerate this.

 ID cards will be used by the police to harass people from minority cultures, young people, demonstrators, trade unionists and any other group that the State wants to control.

 In order to trust Identity Cards you must also trust both politicians AND technology – do you?

 Remember the Jews had ID Cards thats how the Nazi's found them.

 It means a central database of all citizens - it will no doubt contain data such as criminal record and credit and debit status as originally proposed by Blunkett. What else will it contain? Details of your employment and housing status?; a chip to locate the wearabouts of the card holder (as being intorduced by the supermarkets for their goods)?; What else could it lead to? Compulsory wearing of chips embedded in the skin (as used in the ‘tagging’ of offenders)? Compulsory CCTV in homes? .........



more on the company behind UK biometrics

05.06.2004 15:27

a nice little man making profit from murder
a nice little man making profit from murder

by Alf Mendes - 08May04

Bilderberg dot org site exclusive

The British government recently unveiled plans to introduce identity cards to its citizens. One intriguing aspect of this was the revelation, in the media, that a top-secret military research firm/organisation, ‘QinetiQ’ (pronounced ‘kinetic’), would play a crucial role in the scientific/technical aspects of this controversial subject. That, in itself, is enough to arouse curiosity, which, in turn, surely calls for closer scrutiny of QinetiQ. Hopefully, this curiosity will be justified by what follows in this article, which will - necessarily - be prefixed by brief historical background notes.

Exacerbated by the Cold War, research into military technology became a matter of priority on both sides of the Divide (to the detriment of the USSR). In Britain, this took the form of the Royal Signals & Radar Establishment (RSRE); the Defence Research Agency (DRA); the Defence Test & Evaluation Organisation (DTEO); the Chemical & Biological Defence Establishment (Porton Down); and the Centre for Defence Analysis (CDA) - all leading to the formation of the Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA) in April 1995.

The subsequent Strategic Defence Review undertaken by the MOD in 1998 recommended the adoption of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement as the best means of maximising the strategic value and operational cost effectiveness of the United Kingdom's defence research capabilities. As a result, on July 2nd 2001, DERA was split into two organisations: the Defence Scientific & Technical Laboratory (DSTL), and QinetiQ Group plc. The former remaining part of the MOD, continuing to handle the most sensitive areas of research, whereas, as a public private partnership, QinetiQ would have greater freedom and access to capital, allowing it to exploit its technologies and capabilities in wider markets and to achieve a significantly higher return on capital. As noted by the Defence Minister, Dr. Lewis Moonie, in Hansard on the 5th February 2002, the contract to oversee this privatisation of part of DERA was awarded to the accountancy firm, Arthur Andersen (of recent notoriety). At this point, it would not be amiss to mention a statement made by the CEO of QinetiQ, Sir John Chisholm:
“The fact that we are in competition, and win those competitions, tells us that we are doing well. Profit is not in itself an objective, but it is a measure that you are really good at what you are doing”... It can safely be assumed that they are doing well.!

This marriage of convenience between government and private/corporate companies mirrors precisely what had occurred in America previously: the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was established in 1958 as the first U.S. response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik. Since that time DARPA's mission has been to ensure that the U.S. maintains a lead in applying state-of-the-art technology for military capabilities. In its own words: “DARPA’s original operating philosophy has changed over the years in only three ways -- its relationships with the commercial marketplace, its business practices, and its emphasis on joint systems”. This merely reflects the clonal relationship which has existed for decades between the USA Administration and US corporations - and in view of the similar clonal relationship that exists between the US and British governments, it is hardly surprising that the latter has adopted a similar system for its military research projects - hence QinetiQ.

That such privatisation of a government organisation raises doubts as to its efficacy and incorruptibility can be illustrated by a glance at DARPA itself: DARPA is listed as one of its prime clients by the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a CIA-front company whose Vice-President (until 2002) was David Kay (again, of recent notoriety), who, while with SAIC, was also co-ordinator of SAIC’s ‘homeland security & counterterrorism’ initiatives. Furthermore, Admiral John Poindexter - of Iran-Contra infamy - had been working for DARPA when he was forced to resign when it was revealed that DARPA was prepared to trade ‘futures’ in terrorist attacks - et al.

As for the importance of QinetiQ on the political scene, it is among the largest - if not the largest science and technology company in Western Europe, with some 42 locations in Britain alone. As for its ‘partnerships’ (of which there are many): the most influential is almost certainly the prestigious American Carlyle Group, one of the largest equity firms in the world, which currently manages around $18 billion of capital on behalf of its investors. As a result of its decision in March 2002 to seek a strategic partner to invest in QinetiQ, the MOD chose Carlyle Group who would now acquire a 33.8% interest in QinetiQ. This meant that management control and responsibility for setting future commercial strategy would now be shared between the two companies. As Dr. Moonie (see above) put it: “The Carlyle Group shares our vision for the future of QinetiQ” - a statement enlarged upon by the CEO of QinetiQ, Sir John Chisholm (who had held a similar position in DERA): “Working together, QinetiQ and The Carlyle Group will be a strong team with complementary experience. We can now be even more confident of achieving our ultimate goal of moving from a European leader to a global technological solutions provider for our diverse range of customers. Carlyle's investment secures a bright, long-term future for our business, our employees and our customers." The partnership would now be confirmed by the appointment of two Carlyle nominees to the QinetiQ board of directors: a managing director of Carlyle, Glenn Youngkin (American); and a Carlyle board member, Sir Denys Henderson (British).

A look at some of the present Senior Management Team (as they like to call themselves) of the Group confirms the influential status of Carlyle within the military/industrial complex of Corporate America:

Chairman Emeritus (!): Frank Carlucci (Deputy Director CIA ‘78 - ‘81; Deputy Secretary of Defense ‘81 - ‘82; National Security Adviser ‘87 - ‘89).

Senior Counselor (sic): James Baker lll (Chief of Staff ‘81 - ‘85; Secretary of Treasury ‘85 - ‘89; Secretary of State ‘89 - ‘93).

Chairman of Carlyle Europe: John Major (ex-Prime Minister of Britain).

Senior Adviser to Asia Advisory Board: George Bush Snr. (Director CIA ‘76 - ‘77; Vice-President ‘81 - ‘89; President ‘89 - ‘93). This was a position he had held in Carlyle since 1999. In October 2003 he reportedly retired from this position - but no mention was made that he had sold his investment in the Group....(Ref: previous article titled ‘The Carlyle Group’ by this author).

The logical conclusion to be drawn from the above is that Britain is now firmly tied to the USA on the latter’s march towards capitalist global domination - and it must be kept in mind that the fact that this ‘onward march’ is being carried out under such banners as: ‘In the Name of the International Community’, ‘In the Name of Humanity’, and ‘In the War Against Terrorism’ - reflects duplicity of the highest order.

Carlyle and QinetiQ

Since Carlyle began its private equity activities in 1987, it has built up a wealth of experience in overseeing the development of corporations of all sizes in order to increase shareholder value. Glenn Youngkin's role on the QinetiQ Board will be to monitor the performance of the company against agreed business objectives, which the management team are responsible for implementing. He will also draw on Carlyle's global experience to provide strategic input at Board-level on how QinetiQ can best continue its transition successfully from the public to the private sector and build the business.

Carlyle supports QinetiQ's plan to develop its non-MoD business by commercialising technologies first developed for the defence industry into applications for a much broader range of sectors. Carlyle employs more than 60 investment professionals, who are dedicated to investing in technology through the firm's venture capital funds in Asia, Europe and the US. This team will be in a strong position to provide QinetiQ with contacts across the globe that can be called upon for advice in the technology field. We hope that access to a global network will help QinetiQ's commercial development and are pleased to make this additional resource available across the company.

Glenn Youngkin, A Managing Director of The Carlyle Group

Of course, QinetiQ's primary focus will be providing superior services to the MoD and working with other MOD defence contractors.

Security and compliance regime systems already in place at QinetiQ will remain completely unaffected by Carlyle's acquisition. For instance, UK national security remains protected by the same strict MoD regulations that currently govern QinetiQ's activities.

Similarly, the Compliance Regime, which was introduced upon vesting from the MoD, will continue to safeguard the interests of the MoD by

preserving the confidentiality of MoD information
ensuring the provision of impartial advice to the MoD
complying with UK security interests

Carlyle has a strong track record in identifying companies that are poised for major growth and is confident that QinetiQ's management is well equipped to develop this company into one of the world's leading technology research and development organisations. QinetiQ's reputation for integrity is an absolute requirement for it to achieve this goal and Carlyle is committed to safeguarding the company's ability to continue to act as a trusted partner for all its stakeholders inside the defence industry and beyond.

The Carlyle Group is one of the world's largest private equity firms and is owned by the firm's top 25 professionals as a partnership. One external party, CalPERS, the Californian pension fund, also holds a small stake in the firm. Carlyle currently manages around $18 billion of capital on behalf of its investors, which are the world's largest public and corporate pension funds, banks, insurance companies and some high net-worth families. Around 280 professionals, based in Asia, Europe and the US invest this capital across a wide range of industries through more than 23 dedicated private equity funds.

The companies in which Carlyle invests range from small technology start-ups to well-established businesses such as Le Figaro, the French publisher. They also cover a wide range of industries including: industrial manufacturing; automotive; defence; healthcare; aerospace; energy; media; and most importantly telecommunications and IT, where the company has made 35% of all investments. Carlyle's appointment of Louis Gerstner, former CEO and chairman of IBM, as its chairman underlines its ongoing commitment to these sectors.

The level of experience Carlyle has across these different industries is key to explaining why QinetiQ's senior management has welcomed Carlyle's investment warmly.

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caspar hondickson
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yeah.. err is any one really taking any notice of this debate? worldwide?

02.07.2004 06:44

i too have nothing to hide and these days i dont mind if you know where i am at all times for that reason. but it is an invasion of privacy and it seems that people are not aware that rf tagging id and tracking is already so widely used or planned for use. it does not seem fair that students and homeless peoples should be brought into these 'product testing programs' without their consent. the amounts of money involved are considerable and could surely be put to better use. many people will opt for id and idtags for many reasons, but all people should be given the choice and people have a right to choose if they are to rf tagged, except in exceptional circumstances.. i.e as curfew instead of jail for young offenders ( as is already used with external bands.. etc..) people have a right to their organic and udaulterated human being status. it should be respected. also is the phones, small metal objects and credit cards not enough tagging already?



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