Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
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Irish Left Review >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
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NAMA Wine Lake >>
Government starts rollout of national biometric ID card starting with the vulnerable who can't easily refuse
Government is currently rolling out a national biometric ID card scheme ostensibly to help stamp out welfare fraud. It currently holds facial data and signature data. However the card is extensible and designed to hold other data in the future. (No doubt they started with the least offensive biometric measurement! )
It has been stated that these cards may act as driving licences etc in the future. It is a national ID card by the back door. Expect it to be issued to everyone. How can government justify such expensive schemes in times of recession without a murmur from the MSM?? And where are the protests against this attack on our civi8l liberties in the wake of the NSA / UK mass surveillance scandals?
The Irish government has begun roll out of a biometric ID cards ostensibly to help prevent welfare fraud by the unemployed. It has been stated openly that more data can be stored on the card and It is intended that it will also act as your driving license etc in the future.
This is, of course, a national ID card for everyone by the back door. These things are generally imposed first on vulnerable people not in a position to object as they will lose their welfare payment. Or immigrants. People that have been systematically demonised in the mainstream media so it is unlikely will rush to their defence.
To facilitate this no doubt bloated and expensive venture at a time of massive social spending cuts to special needs assistants etc, all over the country, whole floors of new buildings have been rented and kitted out especially with cameras, wooden booths, computer systems, a queueing system, reception, staff, etc etc.
This, of course, is the icing on the cake in the lucrative drive to "stamp out welfare fraud". Recently we already saw the expensive installation of useless electronic signature recognition hardware and software systems in most of the welfare offices around the country. No doubt a most profitable contract for someone, and possibly exceeding the cost of fraud itself to install. if you claim that you cannot write, ( as many foreign visitors or "indigenous people" are known to do) then it's an effectively useless and expensive measure!!. But I digress.
In Britain, when they tried to bring in ID cards, there was a huge uproar. You had the likes of the NO2
ID campaign etc.
and it gave rise to wonderful protest gems like the following video:
In the wake of the huge uproar surrounding the whole NSA / UK spying debacles, don't you just have to admire the "cojones" of the government bringing in such a fundamental pillar of the orwellian state, starting with the vulnerable just shortly afterwards?
And doesn't our media's conspicuous silence on this and other such important matters whilst continuing to gush interminably about the royal sprog just make you want to throw your hands up in the air in utter exasperation?
So should we be out on the streets objecting to yet another erosion of our civil liberties or should we just roll over yet again as the state, under the guise of "policing welfare schemes" slips in another such Orwellian erosion of civil liberties into our society, and in doing so, wastes loads of money, paid out to private companies, while happily cutting special needs, rent allowance and indeed the very same vital social safety nets they are supposedly designed to police to help pay for this intrusion. Because in reality, this is not just designed to reduce welfare fraud. It's a measure meant for all of us. The rollout on the unemployed is just the softening up phase of the process.
Soon your face will be recognised on garda cctv cameras and by the facebook photo facial recognition algorithms, and tied to your ID card data and all the information held about you by the state. Lots more data can be tied together by this biometric. And even if you are of the opinion that government is totally inept and cannot get this right, do you really want all this stuff left somewhere on a laptop unencrypted as information has been before by government departments? Talk about an identity thief's wet dream!!
And down the line when a garda stops you, the first sentence will be the paddy equivalent of "show me your papers". Do we really want that as a society?
As fraud measures, these, as most others, can be circumvented easily enough by clever people once the cards get into wide circulation. They don't work.
These schemes are costly to the taxpayers.
They result in centralisation and collation of larger volumes of personal data by government. Often with insufficient security measures.
It brings us one step closer to a police state having to carry biometric ID around with us everywhere we go. Increasing electronic surveillance, biometric ID cards, Do we really want to drift this direction as a society?