Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Suspect Nation

Not sure how long this will stay up on YouTube - catch it while you can.

Monday, November 27, 2006

E Petition against ID cards

The e-petition against ID cards on the 10 downing street website has broken the 4000 signatures mark. Only the Repeal the Hunting Bill petition has more. The scale of the opposition to the ID cards plan is being ignored by this high handed government. Head over there and sign it if you can.

NB - the postcode details are only required to show that you live in the UK. I don't beleive that this is any better than asking folks to decalre that they are in the UK (it's not hard to find a UK address to use online). Nevertheless, this is how the website is set up - using a work address or somesuch may make you feel more comfortable!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

No job without ID cards

The Scotsman carries a worrying (but not unexpected) article that was first published in 2005 but which has received strangely little follow-up from the media. Working for the Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS, Tesco, British Airways, BP, Lloyds TSB and Shell could become impossible without an ID card. The onus is now on a job applicant to provide an ID card (costing upwards of £100), to prove their entitlement to work.

This invidious move will keep many in the poverty trap. The up-front costs of applying for work such as travel to and from the interview, work clothes and the first months' travel and living expenses can make it difficult to reenter employment for the homeless or extremely poor. Charities provide some crisis funds to help people into work, but the cost of an ID card and travel to the interrogation centre will only add to the burden. On top of which (as I've stressed many times) it is those at the lowest end of the socioeconomic spectrum that are likely to have most difficulty obtaining ID cards as they are statistically more likely to have had frequent house moves and job changes. This ID cards scheme, as well as its other flaws, will be more regressive than any tax.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Henry Porter Doc on More4

For those who have More4 the Henry Porter documentary will be repeated on the 29th at 10pm. Well worth a watch - the last 15 minutes in particular were eyeopening - even for a cynic like me!

For those who have seen the documentary, the extremely skilled cracker at the end was Adam Laurie based here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

An appeal for help:

Just had the following email from the No2ID national coordinator, Phil Booth. If you are willing to help with this then please reply directly to him, as detailed below. The more data we collect, the more likely we can show up the flaws in the "security" of your passport.

Dear all,

We need some help with some research that we are doing into passports.
Time is of the essence!

I assume that at least some of you will have relatively new passports, having renewed at some point in or since May. Some may have chips in them, some will not. As we've said before, the information stored on the chip at present is no more than what you see on the photo page, plus (we can now confirm) up to 18 measurements that have been derived from a scan of your photo.

What we are trying to determine is the sequence in which passports are issued, for a stunt that we hope to perform in the very near future.

If you are willing to help, please e-mail me [ - subject "mrz"] with *just* the first FOUR digits of your 'MRZ number' - that is, the first four digits (reading from the left) of the bottom row of numbers on the photo page of your passport - plus the date your passport was issued, the office from which it was issued, and whether or not your passport has a chip in it. If more than one person in your family renewed their passport, we be very grateful for this data from each of you.

Please DO NOT send any more than the above information. We do not wish to compromise your privacy or the security of your passport in any way, and what you will be sending is useless to anyone except for the specific problem that we are tackling.

I do hope you can help us, sorry if this mail seems a bit mysterious - but all will become clear in a short while.



P.S. I'm sending this request to so many people that I'm afraid I'll be unable to respond to any other queries. If you have a new passport and are willing to share the data with us, please do. If you have any misgivings, or I have not explained things clearly enough, then just ignore this e-mail.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monthly meeting...

... tomorrow (Tuesday the 7th), upstairs in the Cambrian at 8. See you there.