Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Apparently the EU parliament's civil liberties committee has decided to delay the 'ill considered' proposal on biometric passports until the autumn.

Statewatch is also reporting on this "Commission’s EU biometric passport proposal exceeds the EC’s powers
- no powers conferred upon the EC by the EC Treaty, taken separately or together, confer upon the EC the power to adopt the proposed Regulation"

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

At least one online pundit agrees with me about media having a short attention span. This one sees a possible danger for bloggers and provides an interesting perspective on the hounding of a Democratic party activist blogger, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, who writes the Daily Kos, for posting an inappropriate/tasteless comment on his blog.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Largely unnoticed about a month ago the EU launched PRIME, a four year project to

"Develop solutions to empower individuals to control their private sphere and manage their identities; "


"Trigger persuasive deployment of privacy-enhancing identity management solutions. "

-according to the website. Theoretically the EU Commission has been pushing PETs (privacy enhancing technologies) for some time and one of the principles is to minimise the amount of personal data collected. There are two fundamental problems:

1. The Blair/Blunkett and by extension the EU Council of Ministers simple solution to terrorism - collect as much personal data about the entire population of the world as possible, in the hope that you can kid people into believing you're actually tackling terrorism;


2. Though we all say, when asked, that we are concerned about our personal privacy, we do very little actively to protect it e.g. how many people think about the privacy implications of their supermarket store cards.

Ah well, at least somebody is working on it.
David Blunkett and Tony Blair are continuing to exploit the Madrid bombings unconscionably, by pushing forward the introduction of biometric national ID cards by 2008, as their "we must do something" response.

This capitalising on others' tragedy is politics at its lowest.

They are prepared to spend billions of pounds on a system which won't work and will, in the process undermine fundamental freedoms in the UK that people have fought and died for, just to extract some transcient and superficial "tough on terrorism" headlines from a media with a short attention span.

If Mr Blunkett does get to be prime minister off the back of this then we will deserve what we get, for letting him get away with propering from this poisonous snake oil he is currently selling. Liberty, price and eternal vigilance come to mind on the one hand and not just the media but a short attention span society and general apathy on the other. It's big, it costs a fortune and hey it involves new technology, so most of us will buy it. Especially because the real solutions, if there are any, are long term and too hard for us to deal with.