Yeah, I had noticed. The rebel faction in New Labour didn’t stop this one going through.
The government has staved off a backbench rebellion to reverse changes imposed on the controversial ID Cards Bill by peers.
Only 20 Labour MPs voted against the government, and the bill – opposed by the Tories and the Liberal Democrats – was passed by a majority of 31.
MPs also voted to force people to get cards when they apply for passports.
I’m not sure what exactly motivated the turncoats to sell out to the Empire this time. It surely can’t have been the “concessions” – there aren’t any worth speaking of, though as far as I’m concerned the only ID card bill I’d consider it okay to vote for would be one that made it entirely optional and also mandated that no government body or private company could ever refuse to offer a service on the basis of someone not having one. One can’t leave out private industry here – if it becomes, say, impossible to have a bank account without also having the Mark Of The Beast, that makes it effectively impossible to live in this society without it.
I’m not going to rant yet again about how the stated reasons for the ID system are utterly bogus – won’t stop terrorism, won’t stop ID fraud (will actually make it easier with a centralised “trusted” system rather than multiple independent methods of personal identification), won’t stop benefit fraud etc. I’ve done so many times, and if you’re still unsure of the details you could start by looking at the No2ID site, which has lots of the issues and arguments together in one place.
I won’t rant about, but will sneer sarcastically in the direction of, the idea that requiring people to register in the ID database and get a card before they can renew their passport is not compulsion. Oh, I suppose the idea that I can’t go abroad – well, not if I want to return – without one isn’t pressure of any sort? Of course not!
Yeah, it’s not gone through the Lords yet. I can still hope. Otherwise I predict that my passport will get lost very soon before the deadline and have to be renewed. I really am not going to get one of these things, you know, for as long as I can possibly hold out, and if I have no choice but to register I’ll be looking for ways in which data going in to the system can be tuned to cause the most problems.
While we’re on the subject of personal information security I spotted this one as well:
UK officials are talking to Microsoft over fears the new version of Windows could make it harder for police to read suspects’ computer files.
Microsoft Vista is due to be rolled out later this year. Cambridge academic Ross Anderson told MPs it would mean more computer files being encrypted.
He urged the government to look at establishing “back door” ways of getting around encryptions.
The first rule of encryption systems is of course “don’t put in back doors” but I wouldn’t be surprised if MS did agree to put one in, because the whole point of Trusted Computing is not to give the user data security against outside parties wanting to access their stuff, it’s to give other people data security against the user themselves. The point of TC is to stop you from doing things on your own computer; you are locked out from accessing certain data on your own hard drive according to someone else’s whims. I actually hope MS do agree to back-door their system. It would be the ultimate illustration of the principle involved.
On a brighter note… brighter-ish… at least Blizzard did apologise for banning the mention of LGBT-friendly groups (which I wrote about previously).
In an e-mail to Ms Andrews, Thor Biafore, senior manager of Blizzard’s customer service, said: “Please accept our apologies for the way our staff characterized your conduct, and rest assured that your account will not be penalized in any way for this occurrence.”
Ooh, how amazingly generous of them, they won’t penalise her account. One wonders whether the “training” mentioned for administrators will also include dealing with the in-game harassment that leads to people wanting to set up safe space guilds in the first place. One suspects that it won’t. Challenging homophobia is just so gay, after all.