Vrijwel alle Westers landen hebben in de afgelopen jaren extra bevoegdheden aan hun overheden toegekend in het kader van de 'war on terror'. Waarschuwingen dat dergelijke bevoegdheden vatbaar zouden kunnen zijn voor misbruik werden in de wind geslagen.

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Twee nieuwsberichten uit het Verenigd Koninkrijk deze week die tot nadenken stemmen. Het eerste is dat bewakingscamera's zelden bijdragen tot het oplossen van misdrijven, het tweede dat een band op ludieke wijze gebruik heeft gemaakt van bewakingscamera's om hun videoclip op te nemen.

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The concerns of privacy campaign NO2ID [1] are vindicated by the statement of the outgoing head of the CPS who has slammed the paranoia and fear driving the government's attempts to create a database-powered surveillance state. NO2ID welcomes and supports his remarks as just the latest warning from a high profile figure repudiating the government's totalitarian approach [2]. 

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Meg Hillier MP this morning used the launch of National ID Fraud Protection Week to reiterate dubious claims that the National Identity Scheme ('ID cards') would help prevent identity fraud. The minister's irrelevant spinning contrasts with the sensible prescriptions offered by industry figures on the same press release – such as, "Preventing ID fraud is mainly about good housekeeping" (the Post Office's head of security).

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The Home Secretary will round off the Labour Party conference by re-announcing "ID cards for foreigners".  A system of biometric visas is being introduced for some foreign residents from November, but it is not really part of the National Identity Scheme, which has not been built yet.[1]  This fact does not stop the government using the words "ID cards" together with a sly appeal to xenophobia, to buttress support for its unpopular [2] scheme.
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Meg Hillier, Labour Minister for Identity, has claimed that children as young as 14 [1] may be given ID cards under government plans. This is a U-turn on assurances given to MPs and the public when the legislation was passed, but there are powers buried in the Identity Cards Act that allow the Home Secretary to do it by regulation.

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