UK backs off national id cards

In a refreshing illustration of an administration coming into office and immediately taking steps to carry out a campaign promise, the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government in Great Britain, headed by Prime Minister David Cameron, has officially started the process of repealing the former, Labor government’s national ID card program.

The British national ID card program had been controversial from its inception several years ago, and actual implementation had started in 2008.  Notwithstanding the controversial nature of the project, and despite its high cost, the Labor governments of former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown — reflecting their party’s penchant for surveillance and data-basing information – plowed ahead regardless. 

During the recent parilamentary campaign, both Cameron and Nick Clegg, who heads the Liberal Democrat Party and is now the country’s deputy prime minister, vowed to begin undoing some of their predecessors’ privacy-invasive policies and programs.  And so they have.

Privacy International, an international privacy watchdog organization headquartered in London, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, was a leading critic of the plan.  

Here in the U.S., the federal government since 2005 has been attempting to force implementation of a national identification card under the guise of nationally-standardized drivers licenses.  The federal “RealID” law, however, has foundered in the face of high costs that would be incurred by the states in meeting its mandates; and because of stiff opposition from privacy and other civil liberties groups.  But, it is not yet dead.

Hopefully, the action by the new government in Great Britain will embolden and inject new life into the national identification card opposition here in the U.S.

11 comments Add your comment

Al Gore

June 2nd, 2010
7:46 am

I guess it is a slow day for you Bob, to have to talk about the Brits. Hey did you see where me and Tipper seperated? What do you think about that? I wonder if I will have to give her half of the internet in the divorce? Bob…you think I should hold out to keep the whole internet? After all I invented it. Tipper didn’t believe my global warming crap. You know what…$1 says I have a new girlfriend.

saywhat?

June 2nd, 2010
7:51 am

Won’t a national ID card be necessary if states keep passing laws like the one in Arizona? I am not sure how I could prove I am a citizen if I were stopped on the street and asked for proof. I don’t carry my birth certificate around with me, and I don’t have a valid passport, Does a drivers license count as proof?

nelsonhoward

June 2nd, 2010
8:22 am

The future has arrived, The Illegal Immigration Reform Act of 1996 which President Clinton signed into law. On page 650 is a provision to transform conventional forms of ID into a document that would constitute the NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION CARD.
What are the advantages?
#1 It would replace multiple ID documents with a single, standardized and widely recognized document.
#2 Another important use of national ID cards would be to authenticate a persons entitlement for government services.
#3 It would replace other ID documents, drivers licenses, health cards and social insurance, all used in the private sector.

Some democratic countries that have national ID card systems are, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain.

Morrus

June 2nd, 2010
8:58 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

scrappy

June 2nd, 2010
9:42 am

What is the difference between a National ID card and a passport? Especially now that you can get a passport card and carry it easier in your wallet? Wouldn’t it be less expensive to just have everyone get a passport, those offices and procedures are already in place?

Dr. Pangloss

June 2nd, 2010
9:49 am

Al Gore
June 2nd, 2010
7:46 am

I guess it is a slow day for you Bob, to have to talk about the Brits. Hey did you see where me and Tipper seperated? What do you think about that? I wonder if I will have to give her half of the internet in the divorce? Bob…you think I should hold out to keep the whole internet? After all I invented it. Tipper didn’t believe my global warming crap. You know what…$1 says I have a new girlfriend.

———————-

I’ll bet the real Al Gore can spell “separated,” and, if global warming is crap, please explain how they’re running SHIPS through the Arctic Circle these days?

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 2nd, 2010
10:45 am

We already have a national ID card; it’s called a Social Security card.

Al Gore

June 2nd, 2010
12:24 pm

Dr. Pangloss … you are truly brilliant. A real Einstein. Your evidence of global warming is proof that it exists and is not myth. Thanks genius.

Borat

June 2nd, 2010
2:39 pm

Meestur Bob – You such a nice man. But your peekture looks so funny. looks like you are wearing an ascot on way to have tea and cheese.

jarvis

June 2nd, 2010
4:56 pm

It’s not that national idenfitications exist….(obviously all countries have passports)….the objection is requiring anyone to carry such identification.

I often jog with no ID. I’d hate to be breaking federal law.

scribadiva

July 12th, 2010
4:26 pm

Bob: I quoted your first paragraph on my blog, but you have full attribution, and Your link is prominently displayed. Masterpiece Theater Contemporary produced The Last Enemy, a 5-Part Series. If you would like to see the post before I put it up, Let me know.
This Al /////Gore: Is that legal???