And closer yet again to the full surveillance society

Yesterday BBC news online reported that the Home Office had rejected calls by the police to introduce a mandatory DNA database of all UK citizens, arguing that the suggestion “would raise significant practical and ethical issues.”

Already there are £4.5 million people in Britain on the DNA database. Since 2004, the data of everyone arrested for a recordable offence - all but the most minor offences - has remained on the system regardless of their age, the seriousness of their alleged offence, and whether or not they were prosecuted. In countless cases, if you go to court and you’re found totally innocent, they still have your damned DNA, a profile of your personal genetic make up.

Not enough, say the police who, to highlight there case, point to recent solved murders thanks to their DNA database. Right wing reactionaries have backed police calls for such a database, citing that hackneyed argument that if you’re doing sod all wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. Which misses the point by a mile.

There’s nothing radical at the moment in the government resisting police pressure for a DNA database. They simply realise its gonna be one helluva palaver to get DNA samples from almost 6o billion people, a lot of whom will kick off big time were they to be threatened with penalties for failing to comply, or coercion. They'll bide their time until they come up with a better way to get around this.

So if you’re thinking that here is the British government defending our civil liberties, forget it. They're still after their surveillance society. Yesterday’s Guardian, for instance, tells us that:

“Passengers travelling between EU countries or taking domestic flights would have to hand over a mass of personal information, including their mobile phone numbers and credit card details, as part of a new package of security measures being demanded by the British government. The data would be stored for 13 years and used to 'profile' suspects.”

One thing I did not know was that last summer the EU made a deal with the US Dept. of Homeland Security to provide Washington with 19 pieces of information on all passengers between Europe and the USA, inclusive of credit card details and mobile phone numbers. The bastards!

Not enough, says the British government, who want the system extended to sea and rail travel, to domestic flights and those between EU countries. And is the reactionary British government the only one in Europe to argue for this measure? Yes! Twenty-seven member states were questioned on whether the system should be extended for “more general public policy purposes”, aside from the alleged war on terror and crime, and only Britain put its thumbs up. Britain further wants the authority to exchange the information gleaned, your most personal details, with third parties outside the EU.

Things have hotted up since the ID Cards Act was passed two years ago this March. Throughout 2007, in many cities, Identity and Passport Service (IPS) interview centres were opened to question first-time applicants, such as teenagers, before giving them a passport.

Towards the end of last year we were informed that that post offices and travel agents are likely candidates for mass ID card applications and fingerprinting. The Financial Times reported: "The Post Office said it was looking very seriously at developing the ability to record data electronically at its 14,150 outlets", whilst the IPS said that, "outlets were likely to be used to help speed up the enrollment process to obtain new biometric passports and identity cards, providing services such as application checking and finger-printing."

In October of last year we learned that General Register Office (GRO) in England and Wales, charged with overseeing the recording of births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, will become part of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) from 1 April 2008. This moves it from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to become an Executive Agency of the Home Office. According to the IPS, “working as one organisation will allow us to explore the possibility of integrating passport, identity card and life event registration processes. This would reduce red tape and make life easier for people, as well as strengthen the integrity of our systems."

Under the Identity and Passport Service, the 285 registry offices in England and Wales that are owned and run by local authorities will be implicated in this change, plus the Home Office will carry out some registrations centrally and maintain the central record of registration data. So getting rid of 'red tape' really means the centralising of data originally collected for statistical purposes and policy-making for the population as a whole, which will now be used for tracking individuals as well.

And then you read today’s Mail on Sunday and wonder just what the fuck is going on!:

“Motorists will be targeted by a new generation of road cameras which work out how many people are in a car by measuring the amount of bodily fluid it contains.

“The latest snooping device on the nation's roads aims to penalise lone drivers who abuse car-sharing lanes, and is part of a Government effort to combat congestion at busy times.

“The cameras work by sending an infrared beam through the windscreen of vehicles which detects the unique make-up of blood and water content in human skin. “

Seemingly, some unscrupulous individuals have had mannequins in their passenger seats or photos in the windscreen. Interesting! How long before drivers cotton on to the idea that if the cops a have device that measures the amount of bodily fluid in a car, the simple way out is to still have the mannequin , but with eight pints of water inside of it? I ask you!!

Well, looks like this blog is gonna have a busy year keeping track of all the new legislation and moves to barcode us all. Sometime I bloody despair! They do it so slowly, so damned subtly, that the majority of people don’t realise what is going on. Little by little the workers are becoming acclimatised to the Big Brother Society, in which they will have your DNA, your fingerprints your credit card details… everything… everything will eventually be known about everyone.

They’re telling us all that we are not to be trusted, none of us, that we need to be surveilled constantly and that it is all in our own interests. As I’ve argued on here before, trust is a two-way thing, so why should we trust them one bloody inch? Lets chuck the whole damned spectacle back in their faces and destroy their damned system to boot.

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