The Socialist Unity Network

Groups call for ID cards to be shelved

Civil liberties groups and privacy campaigners have called upon David Blunkett to shelve his plans for a national identity card in the wake of today's damning report from the Home Affairs Select Committee.

A coalition of anti-ID card groups has pledged to defeat the proposals in Parliament should a Bill be put forward later this year. With senior Cabinet Ministers including Jack Straw and Patricia Hewitt known to be opposed to Blunkett's Plan, campaigners believe that if legislation can be held up until after the General Election, the ID cards may never see the light of day.

Mark Littlewood, national co-ordinator of the NO2ID Coalition said:

"The more people hear about ID cards, the less they like them. With opinion polls showing that around 3.5million adults would refuse to carry a card, the government needs to ask itself exactly how many more enemies it can afford to make. Proposals for national identity cards should be sheleved immediately and permanently."

Dr. Ian Brown, Director of FIPR (Foundation for Information Policy Research) - a supporter of no2id - said:

"The committee has raised a whole series of very grave concerns about the scheme. ID cards won't tackle terrorism, won't cut fraud and won't reduce crime. The government's plans are an expensive and dangerous folly."

ID cards expert, Owen Blacker of internet privacy group Stand said:

"This report should cause the Home Secretary to rethink. Not only do ID cards present a very real threat to individual privacy, but they would be a technological disaster. The government's record on IT porjects is truly awful. If they press ahead, people should brace themselves for this running way over budget and experiencing major malfunctions."




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July 2004


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