UK Government to Use Facebook in “New” National ID Scheme

“Why do you think it’s called a net or a web? Because it’s a trap!” – Alan Parker: The Urban Warrior

The UK Government is set to use already existing online profiles as a means of officially verifying the identity of Her Majesty’s subjects, reports  The Independent :

The Government will announce details this month of a controversial national identity scheme which will allow people to use their mobile phones and social media profiles as official identification documents for accessing public services.

People wishing to apply for services ranging from tax credits to fishing licences and passports will be asked to choose from a list of familiar online log-ins, including those they already use on social media sites, banks, and large retailers such as supermarkets, to prove their identity.

Once they have logged in correctly by computer or mobile phone, the site will send a message to the government agency authenticating that user’s identity.

The Cabinet Office is understood to have held discussions with the Post Office, high street banks, mobile phone companies and technology giants ranging from Facebook and Microsoft to Google, PayPal and BT.

FULL STORY HERE: The Independent

Strangely this idea appears to have its originated within the bowels of “opposition” party New Labour. They suggested a slightly clunkier version of it in 2010 as a replacement for their hated national ID card scheme which they promised would all be in place by 2014. In 2010 Gordon Brown made a series of chilling speeches demanding everyone be given their own Facebook style page:

The Telegraph March 2010

Every citizen to have personal webpage

Everyone in the country is to be given a personalised webpage for accessing Government services within a year as part of a plan to save billions of pounds by putting all public services online, Gordon Brown is to announce.

Despite Labour losing that year’s general election and the “opposition” Conservative party standing on a platform which included the pledge to end the so called “database state”  it appears a revised version of the idea is to go ahead after all.

The comments sections of newspapers reporting this “new idea” reveal a level of cynicism about its “voluntary” nature. It appears people remember how the UK’s previous Labour Government lied about their National Identification Card scheme (upon which these subsequent ideas have clearly been built):

Secret paper reveals Labour’s lies over ID cards

The Government faces damaging claims of misleading voters over ID cards after documents revealed it always planned to make the controversial scheme compulsory.

[Daily Mail 2007]

I wonder what the current Government’s “secret papers” say regarding this, ahem, “new” scheme and where it might lead? In the age of the internet it’s likely to be only a matter of time until we find out.

As always Disinfo welcomes your thoughts in the comments section…

PS: Anyone with a sense of humour may enjoy this old (2009) page direct from The Conservative Party website which promises to clamp down on exactly the sort of scheme they are now proposing.

, , , , ,

  • http://twitter.com/DeadLeaFMoth MonteBeckett

    Besides, It’s not really spying if a private company does it for you and you ‘like’ your sunject of scrutiny in the process.

  • http://twitter.com/DeadLeaFMoth MonteBeckett

    Besides, It’s not really spying if a private company does it for you and you ‘like’ your sunject of scrutiny in the process.

  • alizardx

    “For the lulz” is NOT a good reason for responsible government officials to pick an ID platform for national citizens. 

    Especially given the Facebook platform security and privacy issues. What Can Go Wrong?

  • alizardx

    “For the lulz” is NOT a good reason for responsible government officials to pick an ID platform for national citizens. 

    Especially given the Facebook platform security and privacy issues. What Can Go Wrong?

    • Infvocuernos

       “What Can Go Wrong?”  is exactly why I think its a bad idea also.  Its not like there are any “hack proof” systems out there.  Take into account the possibility of technological failure, and the government’s tendency to go with the lowest bidder, and I think this idea is a stinker.  I do not think that “the mark of the beast ” argument is a valid reason to avoid this.  That’s just some xtian horseapples. 

    • Infvocuernos

       “What Can Go Wrong?”  is exactly why I think its a bad idea also.  Its not like there are any “hack proof” systems out there.  Take into account the possibility of technological failure, and the government’s tendency to go with the lowest bidder, and I think this idea is a stinker.  I do not think that “the mark of the beast ” argument is a valid reason to avoid this.  That’s just some xtian horseapples. 

  • Nunzio X

    Listen:

    When I was 16, I moved to a state known for its fundamentalist thought. There, I was exposed for the first time to the Book Of Revelations from the Bible and heard about shit like the so-called “Mark Of The Beast,” which all citizens would be required to have. If you didn’t have this mark, you couldn’t participate in society…couldn’t buy stuff, couldn’t rent a house, shit like that.

    So now we have this monstrosity known as Facialbook, where Mark Z. and his boyz shove their collective dicks in everyone’s face and eventually deliver a blast of spooge, laughing all the while at the hoes and bitches who slurp their collektive kranks.

    I don’t know about you, but my position on this is that I will NOT accept the Mark Of The Zuckerberg. FUCK that goddamned Facialbook and all other “social” “media” which in reality is nothing more than a method of gathering information on the hoes and bitches who participate in it, so they can sell it to stupid businessmen who in turn try to sell us the stupid, worthless shit they think we “need” to have.

    Now even governments are getting in on the insanity, getting into bed with Zuckerberg & Co.

    Am I the only person who thinks the entire thing is completely insane?

    • Antediluviancurrent

      Do not worry about Zuckerberg alone, worry about the pressure of all its obedient users ( i.e., most in the First World ) that just mock anyone who signs off.  If you don’t use facebook you’re either trying to be desperately non-conformist ( in most people’s eyes you’re trying to be a special snowflake ), a “forever alone” ( the other half ) or a psychopath ( in the private sector’s eyes ):

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2184658/Is-joining-Facebook-sign-youre-psychopath-Some-employers-psychologists-say-suspicious.html

      Looks like you have no excuse to not be on there, or do you have something to hide hu?

    • Antediluviancurrent

      Do not worry about Zuckerberg alone, worry about the pressure of all its obedient users ( i.e., most in the First World ) that just mock anyone who signs off.  If you don’t use facebook you’re either trying to be desperately non-conformist ( in most people’s eyes you’re trying to be a special snowflake ), a “forever alone” ( the other half ) or a psychopath ( in the private sector’s eyes ):

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2184658/Is-joining-Facebook-sign-youre-psychopath-Some-employers-psychologists-say-suspicious.html

      Looks like you have no excuse to not be on there, or do you have something to hide hu?

      • Nunzio X

        I’ve had most of those labels applied to me, except psychopath.

        “Why aren’t you on Facialbook?” I get asked.

        “I dunno. Why can’t you send me a fucking email or call me on your telecommunication device? Why does everything you say or think have to be plastered on your ‘wall?’ Is it because you don’t want to communicate with ME, you want to communicate with EVERYONE SIMULTANEOUSLY? Which, of course, is impossible, despite what Facialbook would have you believe.”

        My favorite label is “Luddite,” which is laughable because I’ve been a fan of tech since the days of the first personal computers. But tech at ANY price? No, thanks.

        And I’ve had great conversations with young people that go on for a long time…and when they tell me they’ve enjoyed the visit I say something like: “Kind of nice meeting and communicating with another homo sapien without having an electronic buffer between us…you know, the way humans have been doing it for HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of years?”

  • Haystack

    So all I need to do now is guess somoene’s FB password and I can get a British passport? 

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    this is only intrusive if you DO NOT have:
    a birth certificate
    a job
    Identity Card/Social Services Number
    an address for contact
    drivers license
    a registered vehicle
    cell phone
    land-line phone
    credit card/credit report
    bank account

    FaceBook,
    that’s easy to get around
    Big Brother & the Snoops
    they’re on your ass at birth

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    this is only intrusive if you DO NOT have:
    a birth certificate
    a job
    Identity Card/Social Services Number
    an address for contact
    drivers license
    a registered vehicle
    cell phone
    land-line phone
    credit card/credit report
    bank account

    FaceBook,
    that’s easy to get around
    Big Brother & the Snoops
    they’re on your ass at birth

  • lee colleton
21