ID Will Be Needed to Buy Mobile Phones?

#1
Taken from The Sunday Times, October 19, 2008

Passports will be needed to buy mobile phones

Everyone who buys a mobile telephone will be forced to register their identity on a national database under government plans to extend massively the powers of state surveillance.

Phone buyers would have to present a passport or other official form of identification at the point of purchase. Privacy campaigners fear it marks the latest government move to create a surveillance society.

A compulsory national register for the owners of all 72m mobile phones in Britain would be part of a much bigger database to combat terrorism and crime. Whitehall officials have raised the idea of a register containing the names and addresses of everyone who buys a phone in recent talks with Vodafone and other telephone companies, insiders say.

The move is targeted at monitoring the owners of Britain’s estimated 40m prepaid mobile phones. They can be purchased with cash by customers who do not wish to give their names, addresses or credit card details.

The pay-as-you-go phones are popular with criminals and terrorists because their anonymity shields their activities from the authorities. But they are also used by thousands of law-abiding citizens who wish to communicate in private.

The move aims to close a loophole in plans being drawn up by GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping centre in Cheltenham, to create a huge database to monitor and store the internet browsing habits, e-mail and telephone records of everyone in Britain.

The “Big Brother” database would have limited value to police and MI5 if it did not store details of the ownership of more than half the mobile phones in the country.

Contingency planning for such a move is already thought to be under way at Vodafone, where 72% of its 18.5m UK customers use pay-as-you-go.

The office of Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, said it anticipated that a compulsory mobile phone register would be unveiled as part of a law which ministers would announce next year.

“With regards to the database that would contain details of all mobile users, including pay-as-you-go, we would expect that this information would be included in the database proposed in the draft Communications Data Bill,” a spokeswoman said.

Simon Davies, of Privacy International, said he understood that several mobile phone firms had discussed the proposed database in talks with government officials.

As The Sunday Times revealed earlier this month, GCHQ has already been provided with up to £1 billion to work on the pilot stage of the Big Brother database, which will see thousands of “black boxes” installed on communications lines provided by Vodafone and BT as part of a pilot interception programme.

The proposals have sparked a fierce backlash inside Whitehall. Senior officials in the Home Office have privately warned that the database scheme is impractical, disproportionate and potentially unlawful. The revolt last week forced Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, to delay announcing plans for the database until next year.
Are they seriously considering trying to implement something like this? Never mind that the scheme as a whole is almost certainly technically unworkable and likely to degenerate into the usual governmental IT program cluster**** the civil liberties aspect is just staggering. I'm assuming that something like this would require new legislation to be passed so I can but hope that the House of Lords tears in to shreds the moment it passes to the Upper House.

The fact that they'd even consider trying to introduce something like this makes me really look forward to the third of June 2010.
 
#2
What a catastrophic waste of tax payers money this would be. No wonder we're almost bankrupt. Par for the course with this bloody government.
We really do not need a society like this.
I think the problem with this lot is that they measure everyone else by their own dismal standards and act accordingly:
Don't trust anyone.
Lie to the electorate.
Make unworkable laws.
Shackle the justice system and the Police Forces with paperwork and politically correct nonsense.
Cheat the taxpayer with outrageous expenses claims and backhanders for themselves when everyone else is having to tighten their belts.
Create a system where is is easier for people to sit around on their backsides all day with no responsibilities that to go out and get a job.
Create a culture of no win-no fee law.
They really are a right load of villains. I hesitate to use a word as strong as hate for anyone, but I really do hate this goverment.
I too can't wait to register my disgust at the ballot box.
 
#3
Having spoke to someone of dubious character, They say if they want an anonymous phone they will pay a junkie to buy them one and then say they have lost it if the old bill ever get around to tracing it.
 
#4
Great - Another window to be fcuked by ID theft.
 
#5
having worked in a lot of cuntries this isn't really surprising. An example, in Russia buying a train ticket needs a passport, so does a phone simcard, plane ticket,the list goes on.
The idea is sound, based on internal security. But with all the best will in the world the information is no good to anyone unless they can assimilate the information before any threat to security can be organised (Look at 9/11 in the US)

a waste of time and money

just a point I noticed, the UK has around 68m people, but 72m mobile phones?

edited for red wine based dyslexia
 
#6
Ali_Gee said:
just a point I noticed, the UK has around 68m people, but 72m mobile phones?

edited for red wine based dyslexia
It was only 60 million last week have we been breeding that fast?
 
#7
Why don't they just come out with it and insist that everyone must have a monitoring chip installed!

So much for this being a free society.

if they were to put the tens of billions they are spending on internal repression on the NHS, far more lives would be saved than we would lose to terrorists.
 
#9
Every phonecall I make will reference Jihad, death to the infidels and bringing down this government.
 
#10
BarkingSpider said:
stacker1 said:
Ali_Gee said:
just a point I noticed, the UK has around 68m people, but 72m mobile phones?

edited for red wine based dyslexia
It was only 60 million last week have we been breeding that fast?
National Statistics Online

UK population grows to 60,975,000 - mid 2007.

And I have two mobile phones. One for work. One for private calls.
OK! It was a SWAG, combined with the best red vino collapso Chile has to offer, but it emphasises my point even more, 72m phones and 60m people is even worse! own up, who's got the other 12 million phones??
 
#11
Perhaps 12 million people have an extra phone each?
I know a few people with more than one phone so I don't think it's that unusual.
I also have an old sim card that is still registered. I lost the phone, got myself new one (it was old after all) and then found the old one again. I could still use it if I wished as it has a couple of quid credit left, so technically I actually have three phones.
 
#12
BarkingSpider said:
Perhaps 12 million people have an extra phone each?
I know a few people with more than one phone so I don't think it's that unusual.
I also have an old sim card that is still registered. I lost the phone, got myself new one (it was old after all) and then found the old one again. I could still use it if I wished as it has a couple of quid credit left, so technically I actually have three phones.
11999996 left to account for (I've got one!)
 
#13
At first I thought, "That's not a bad idea - at least it has a chance to cut down some crime." But then I realised that it's only the dim crims who use their own phone that would be collared.

It could well lead to an increase in phone thefts, passport thefts etc., as crims seek to obtain mobiles. From an international terrorism viewpoint, it would be a flop as it doesn't seem to target phones brought in from abroad.

I don't have a problem with my details being included on a national database - as a contract customer, they're already there anyway - but if loopholes are to be plugged, it's no use leaving some open.
 
#14
vampireuk said:
Every phonecall I make will reference Jihad, death to the infidels and bringing down this government.
I hve to agree that in the great british tradition of protest that when this and e-mail monitoring comes in. then everyone sends at least ten texts and e-mails a day and makes at least a couple of phone calls a day using "key phrases".

the detection system will be fcuked within a week.
 
#15
BiscuitsAB said:
vampireuk said:
Every phonecall I make will reference Jihad, death to the infidels and bringing down this government.
I hve to agree that in the great british tradition of protest that when this and e-mail monitoring comes in. then everyone sends at least ten texts and e-mails a day and makes at least a couple of phone calls a day using "key phrases".

the detection system will be fcuked within a week.
I'll go for a day, how could they afford to monitor that many? and if they can then they should be spending it on the boys in the firing line
 
#16
putteesinmyhands said:
At first I thought, "That's not a bad idea - at least it has a chance to cut down some crime." But then I realised that it's only the dim crims who use their own phone that would be collared.

It could well lead to an increase in phone thefts, passport thefts etc., as crims seek to obtain mobiles. From an international terrorism viewpoint, it would be a flop as it doesn't seem to target phones brought in from abroad.

I don't have a problem with my details being included on a national database - as a contract customer, they're already there anyway - but if loopholes are to be plugged, it's no use leaving some open.
My bold.
I hope that anyone who has kids realises that they're now going to be more at risk from personal attacks as junkies mug them for their phones so that the dealer has a steady supply of disposal untraceable (to him) phones. This bonehead idea will not make one iota of difference to the criminal element in society.

As for the whole idea of this surveillance system culture. The vast majority of people in this country are honest law abiding citizens that do not need watching by anyone. They are quite capable of going about their business without the need for anyone to check their identity, track their movements or be stored on a CCTV camera archive. The people who are suggesting all of this should be put up against a wall and shot, starting with Cyclops and Jacqui Smith.
Call Me Dave! Are you reading this?
If you want my vote you'll start some serious discussions about stripping away all this culture of nonsense and distrust of the electorate and instead spending our hard earned tax money on re-establishing a culture of:
Personal and public responsibilty.
Trust and respect for others.
 
#17
The idea's barking. There are, as have been pointed out, so many ways of getting around this quite easily.

Unless this is a European directive (and with the pricing of international calls being forced down) to monitor right across the area, it would be cost effective to simply buy from any state there and import.

Do politicians actually think about how dim some of their ideas are? Doesn't seem like it, does it.

Mong fingers/......
 
#18
One simple thought......How many Market stalls have you seen selling sim card packs with £5 or £10 credit on them? It's no good taking ID at Phone shops if you can pop onto the local market or Car boot sale and pick up a sim card or 2.........

BTW I think I have at least 4 sim cards floating around home........which one shall I use? At least 3 of them and 2 phones have never been registered.
 
#19
Politicians and their advisors must sit in their offices, desperate to think up a headline-grabbing policy in order to raise their profile and/or justify a bid to the Treasury for funds (because budget = power in the Cabinet). Unfortunately, they sit with a small clique of like-minded advisors, equally isolated from the realities of life outside North West London and p*ss out daft policy idea after daft policy idea, none of which stands up to even cursory questioning by a human being outside the political glitterati.

'New' Labour (and probably all politicians, but let's get the knife into the bunch of liars, thieves and traitors who are currently 'in charge') are beyond parody. If you haven't seen 'The Thick Of It', go and buy a copy of the DVD and you will see the Minister of Social Affairs brainstorming a new policy and one of his advisors says "Pet ASBOs?", to which the Minister responds "Now that sounds stupid, but Pet Passports - that idea flew". They then come up with 2 policies for spending Arts funding - all the money to the badly-behaved kids in order to encourage them away from crime OR all the funding to the good kids to reward them for good behaviour and show the 'stick' to the bad kids early. They recognise that they are fundamentally contradictory and then descend into an argument about which will play better in the tabloids.
 
#20
my unregistered sim cards are going on ebay today Ideal for terrorists or criminals
:twisted:

will this stop criminals and terrorists no
will it bugger about normal people yes
can we employ a mate as mobile phone czar yes
will it allow us to identify trouble makers yes
does it bring closer the day I print off that file about how to make your own sten gun and think hmmmmmmmm :x
 

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