Cât de curând Uniunea Europeană va lansa iniţiativa impunerii unor acte de identitate unice care să conţină cipuri biometrice, la pachet cu identitate electronică pentru tranzacţii virtuale. Aşa zice Euractiv. Pe de o parte mulţi vor sări în sus de bucurie. Identitate electronică pentru tranzacţii pe internet, ce bine!
Tranzacţiile pe internet le folosesc de multă vreme şi sunt de acord cu o identitate electronică. Dar un cip biometric în actul de identitate mă îngrijorează. Este vorba de un spaţiu de stocare în care se vor regăsi foarte multe informaţii (sau se pot regăsi) – înălţime, greutate, un scan al retinei, amprente digitale, etc. Parcă nu m-aş lăsa măsurat şi preţăluit ca o vită la obor…
Chestia asta cu actele de identitate biometrice obligatorii în Uniunea Europeană mi-a adus aminte de primul document de la seminarul de paleografie germană. Era un anunţ din timpul Imperiului Habsburgic pentru căutarea unui tâlhar (sau haiduc, Dumnezeu ştie ce a fost) „de origine valahă, înalt de cinci coţi şi şase degete, cu păr negru şi ochi negri, faţă alungită”. Apoi îmi amintesc de un episod din romanul lui Robert Musil „Omul fără însuşiri” în care protagonistul este reţinut de poliţia din Viena care îi face o fişă descriptivă în acelaşi stil: culoarea părului, culoarea ochilor, înălţime, culoarea pielii etc. Omul se întreabă la un moment dat dacă asta este tot ceea ce reprezintă el pentru poliţie, o înşiruire de informaţii referitoare la aspectul său fizic.
Britanicii se opun din răsputeri acestei iniţiative – şi nu guvernanţii, ci simplii cetăţeni. Citiţi comentariile de pe Euractiv şi vedeţi ce argumente au englezii împotriva actelor de identitate electronice, ca şi a actelor de identitate în general. Dincolo de părerile britanicilor, furtul sau pierderea unui buletin de identitate simplu este joacă de copil pe lângă ce înseamnă furtul unei identităţi electronice urmate de o serie de tranzacţii virtuale care să te bage în puşcărie pentru multă vreme.
Bineînţeles că se vor găsi destui şi la noi care să spună că toţi cei care se opun cipurilor biometrice sunt extremişti religioşi, habotnici bătuţi în cap.
Euractiv: Brussels wants e-identities for EU citizens
Neelie Kroes, the EU’s Digital Agenda Commissioner, will present by the beginning of June a new legislative proposal which aims “to facilitate cross-border electronic transactions” through the adoption of harmonised e-signatures, e-identities and electronic authentication services (eIAS) across EU member states, according to an internal document seen by EurActiv.
“A clear regulatory environment for eIAS would boost user convenience, trust and confidence in the digital world,” reads the paper. “This will increase the availability of cross-border and cross-sector eIAS and stimulate the take up of cross-border electronic transactions in all sectors.”
Brussels has long been trying to facilitate the emergence of a parallel system of electronic identification, on top of the the real-world existing documents. This has mainly been linked to the struggle for establishing a truly functioning single market, rather than on security grounds.
A directive was adopted in 1999 establishing a common framework for electronic signatures. The rationale for the legal text is that if EU citizens feel comfortable in signing documents online, they will increasingly move to the immaterial world of the e-commerce to do business and shopping, regardless of national borders.
Resistance expected at national level
Despite the EU’s efforts to increase the security of e-signatures and the confidence in the emergence of virtual identities, citizens and governments have been slow to adopt electronic IDs.
Indeed, e-signatures are still confined to a few sectors, such as universities, while most EU nations have not yet introduced electronic identity cards.
Even if chip-embedded passports are becoming the norm across Europe, e-ID cards have been adopted in only in a handful of countries – Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. But there is no common system of mutual recognition among states using electronic IDs.
Perhaps more frustrating for the European Commission is that some member states like the United Kingdom do not even have paper identity cards, and the idea of adopting them causes widespread public opposition.
The UK briefly introduced ID cards during the second world war but abolished them afterwards. The use that the Nazi regime made of identity documents to single out Jewish people and send them into concentration camps has been a powerful argument against introducing ID documents across the Channel.
When Tony Blair’s Labour government discussed the idea of ID cards, a citizen movement sprang up overnight to block the plans.
ID cards are also not used in Denmark and Ireland.
A bolder plan beyond e-signatures
Despite those cultural differences, Brussels still has the intention of moving ahead and a draft regulation is being examined in the Commission’s several departments in so-called inter-service consultation.
The plan, to be unveiled in the coming days, is even more ambitious than the Commission’s previous legislative attempt, as Brussels now wants to extend the electronic authentication to a number of services, beyond e-signatures.
Kroes plans to “widen the scope of the current Directive by including also ancillary authentication services that complement e-signatures, like electronic seals, time/date stamps, etc,” reads an internal paper prepared by her cabinet.
To address the lack of mutual recognition of electronic certificates, Brussels wants to make it compulsory. “It is proposed that all member states recognise and accept all formally notified e-IDs from other EU member states,” underlines the paper.
The proposal does not go as far as proposing the introduction of electronic documents where they do not exist, but the obvious aim is to create an incentive for countries to do it.
Kroes’ success is far from guaranteed. The concept of an electronic identity has in recent years been mainly associated with risks of identity theft and virtual fraud.
Officials say it is paramount that robust security mechanisms are put in place to guarantee the adoption of new electronic services. Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has already suggested amending Kroes’ proposal to strengthen its data-protection obligations.
Among other things, Reding wants a 24-hour data breach notification to be part of the new regulation. If electronic identities are stolen or risk being wrongly used by non-authorised parties, the owners should be made aware of the data breach within 24 hours, argues the commissioner’s cabinet in an internal document seen by EurActiv.
The 24-hour reporting obligation is part of the overhaul of the entire legislative framework for EU data protection, which was launched by Reding in January and is now under scrutiny by the European Parliament and member states. Kroes intervened in that debate by softening the security requirements imposed on companies.
The new text on electronic identities will also likely face opposition in the European Parliament. The issue “will require the sensitivities of civil liberty groups, with likely echoes in the European Parliament, to be carefully addressed,” warns Kroes’ internal paper.
The backing of most member states seems guaranteed by prior behind-the-scene negotiations, the paper notes, but the Commission also expects vigorous debate at the EU Council of Ministers.
“Close Council scrutiny of detailed provisions should be expected, as not all member states have e-IDs and the subject is linked to core national sovereignty (state-citizen relationship, security), as well as e-Government organisation,” Kroes’ cabinet wrote.
This was written originally by Frances Stonor Saunders.
Frances Stonor Saunders is the former arts editor of The New Statesman, author of The Cultural Cold War, Diabolical Englishman and The Devil’s Broker and was awarded the Royal Historical Society’s William Gladstone Memorial Prize. She lives in London. It is well worth reading and if you wish to, please pass it on to as many people as you can.
“You may have heard that legislation creating compulsory ID Cards passed a crucial stage in the House of Commons. You may feel that ID cards are not something to worry about, since we already have Photo ID for our Passport and Driving License and an ID Card will be no different to that. What you have not been told is the full scope of this proposed ID Card, and what it will mean to you personally.
The proposed ID Card will be different from any card you now hold. It will be connected to a database called the NIR, (National Identity Register), where all of your personal details will be stored. This will include the unique number that will be issued to you, your fingerprints, a scan of the back of your eye, and your photograph. Your name, address and date of birth will also obviously be stored there.
There will be spaces on this database for your religion, residence status, and many other private and personal facts about you. There is unlimited space for every other details of your life on the NIR database, which can be expanded by the Government with or without further Acts of Parliament.
By itself, you might think that this register is harmless, but you would be wrong to come to this conclusion. This new card will be used to check your identity against your entry in the register in real time, whenever you present it to ‘prove who you are’.
Every place that sells alcohol or cigarettes, every post office, every pharmacy, and every Bank will have an NIR Card Terminal, (very much like the Chip and Pin Readers that are everywhere now) into which your card can be ‘swiped’ to check your identity. Each time this happens, a record is made at the NIR of the time and place that the Card was presented. This means for example, that there will be a government record of every time you withdraw more than £99 at your branch of NatWest, who now demand ID for these transactions. Every time you have to prove that you are over 18, your card will be swiped, and a record made at the NIR. Restaurants and off licenses will demand that your card is swiped so that each receipt shows that they sold alcohol to someone over 18, and that this was proved by the access to the NIR, indemnifying them from prosecution.
Private businesses are going to be given access to the NIR Database. If you want to apply for a job, you will have to present your card for a swipe. If you want to apply for a London Underground Oyster Card, or a supermarket loyalty card, or a driving license you will have to present your ID Card for a swipe. The same goes for getting a telephone line or a mobile phone or an internet account.
Oyster, DVLA, BT and Nectar (for example) all run very detailed databases of their own. They will be allowed access to the NIR, just as every other business will be. This means that each of these entities will be able to store your unique number in their database, and place all your travel, phone records, driving activities and detailed shopping habits under your unique NIR number. These databases, which can easily fit on a storage device the size of your hand, will be sold to third parties either legally or illegally. It will then be possible for a non-governmental entity to create a detailed dossier of all your activities. Certainly, the government will have clandestine access to all of them, meaning that they will have a complete record of all your movements, from how much and when you withdraw from your bank account to what medications you are taking, down to the level of what sort of bread you eat – all accessible via a single unique number in a central database.
This is quite a significant leap from a simple ID Card that shows your name and face.
Most people do not know that this is the true character and scope of the proposed ID Card. Whenever the details of how it will work are explained to them, they quickly change from being ambivalent towards it.
The Government is going to COMPEL you to enter your details into the NIR and to carry this card. If you and your children want to obtain or renew your passports, you will be forced to have your fingerprints taken and your eyes scanned for the NIR, and an ID Card will be issued to you whether you want one or not. If you refuse to be fingerprinted and eye scanned, you will not be able to get a passport. Your ID Card will, just like your passport, not be your property. The Home Secretary will have the right to revoke or suspend your ID at any time, meaning that you will not be able to withdraw money from your Bank Account, for example, or do anything that requires you to present your government issued ID Card.
The arguments that have been put forwarded in favour of ID Cards can be easily disproved. ID Cards WILL NOT stop terrorists; every Spaniard has a compulsory ID Card as did the Madrid Bombers, and probably most of the 9/11 criminals. ID Cards will not ‘eliminate benefit fraud’, which in comparison, is small compared to the astronomical cost of this proposal, which will be measured in billions according to the LSE (London School of Economics). This scheme exists solely to exert total surveillance and control over the ordinary free British Citizen, and it will line the pockets of the companies that will create the computer systems at the expense of your freedom, privacy and money.
If you did not know the full scope of the proposed ID Card Scheme before and you are as unsettled as I am at what it really means to you, to this country and its way of life, I urge you to email or photocopy this and give it to your friends and colleagues and everyone else you think should know and who cares. The Bill has proceeded to this stage due to the lack of accurate and complete information on this proposal being made public. Together and hand in hand, we can inform the entire nation if everyone who receives this passes it on.”
This message has nothing to do with Politics – it is to do with our freedom. But it is the Politicians that in ignorance will vote for the ID card and thus move us closer to the Police State that seems to be the aim of our current Government. Please pass this message on – and use your vote next General Election to get rid of the people who wish to destroy our cherished democracy.By :
John Upton– Posted on :
Sorry. Government cannot be trusted to run an ID system.
As a citizen, I will defend myself using any necessary means against this scheme.By :
Hoover– Posted on :
Actually, I can see how the e-identity will work as one of the many building blocks in the United States of Europe that Wolfgang Schaueble recently discussed as a requirement for EU progress (as well as the best path to pursue for getting out of the current euro mess). Personally, as a lover of europeans and one who detests the clowns and structure of the current EU and its institutions, I sincerely hope that Schaueble gets his wish as then the UK will have to renegotiate its relationship with whatever the USof E will look like. I think people may be surprised at how may countries won’t want to sign up to this (that is, the electorates of those countries rather than the clowns, oafs and buffoons of those countries who purport to be their leaders).By :
Don Latuske– Posted on :
No way will the English people accept an identity card, e, paper or any other medium. It suits the continental mentality – I can’t imagine a French state official not grunting “vos papiers” on the slightest pretext – but we’d be out of the EU before accepting this crap. Maybe we would be out anyway given the choice.By :
Charles_M– Posted on :
1. tell you in 24 hours about a breach with identity – more like 30 minutes required. In fact anything more than 30 milliseconds is far too long.
2. ID cards – over my dead body, even tho I still have my ID card rom the 2nd world war!By :
David Ramsay– Posted on :
I have deliberately put my full name on this contribution. I have already had one Identity Card in my life, and I swore I would never have another one. You see, all those in Belsen had ID cards, and all those in other German Camps had had them at one time too.
After the war, schools (in the highly bombed area where I lived then-Manchester area/Trafford Park with its many factories just half a mile from the Manchester Ship Canal, the Swing Bridge with the swing bridge part of the Aqueduct, also near the great Manchester Power Station with many holding tanks of oil or gas-I did not know for sure which-I still don’t- a few yards away.)
After that war, Schools were treated to an afternoon at the pictures, but not as we first thought, for we were there to see the film of the opening of Belsen Concentration Camp. No, “For Adults only” in those days, and certainly not for these films. There was a man, like a living skeleton with the Scull cap on, sitting on the ground, picking over the cloths is one I remember vividly and I wonder if he lived! Scenes I have never forgotten but we were made to go and see them-SO THAT NEVER, NEVER WOULD WE EVER FORGET WHAT INHUMAN TREATMENT SO MANY HAD SUFFERED AND DIED IN THOSE CAMPS-but there were many other such camps too.
You see, Identity cards are not just for the purpose you might be told, for who exactly will be running this Country if “TODAY’s” Politicians do not open their eyes as to what the European Union is REALLY all about. Do they really think THEY will have a voice when we have read so many time that the EU wants to “speak with its one voice in all matters” and especially in the UNSC?
How do any of Today’s Politicains know who will be the next person who has the Highest Authority, and if they don’t want whoever, do they REALLY think they can stop such a person that may be a dictator?
This below, is one of the films we were taken to see, for I remember the one lady among all the men and she was holding a bottle of smelling salts under her nose and/or a handkerchief. Do NOT look at the film if of a weak disposition. http://www.britishpathe.com/video/german-atrocities And I never forgot a man in a scull cap picking over the clothes. That was at Belsen. Remember too there were 18 of these Camps.
If I end my days in prison for not carrying or having an ID card so be it, because I certainly cannot afford to waste money on an ID card. I am surprised the Government has enough money to afford to put forward such a Bill, but then, they have already reduced payments for so many people, even the elderly, already haven’t they?By :
Anne Palmer– Posted on :
I have an ID card & I’m very happy with it – actually I have several – they are called debit cards & they give me access to the only thing I really want access to – money/transactions. If people insist on knowing me is me, I have a passport. I’m interested to hear from the EC reasoned arguments as to why I would need more than this – so far there has been silence.
Earlier this year PWR, my company, undertook a survey of e-ID in mostly Scandinavian countries. This was mostly with respect to companies – where there are some benefits (am I really doing business with Company X?). However, even there, the case of formal e-ID is un-proven given that there is also the private provision of data & ID (e.g. Dun & Bradstreet).
In response to the first post, it is worth noting that the UK proposals were introduced by a Labour government under the then home secretary Jack “the facist” Straw. I was at an e-ID conf in the mid-2000s and heard one of the neo-Nazis working for Straw (in the UK’s Home Office) spouting on about “benefits” – the man was borderline insane. Sticking with the Nazi theme, pre-WW2 the Belgians did not have ID cards – but liked what the Nazis introduced – which says it all really. I’m assuming that with this proposal the EC is actively working to get the UK out of the EU?By :
Mike Parr– Posted on :
Thinking about the matter of ID cards, we pay our Government to govern according to our Constitution, this they cannot do because of the Treaties THEY have ratified without the permission of any British Citizen. OUR Politicians, past and present, have to take full responsibility for each and every EU Treaty that has been ratified, for the people have had no say before any one of them was ratified.
ID cards in the last war were meant only for UK Citizens and their Government and it may well have been sheer treachery to have given those details to any foreigner. If orders for ID cards for ALL in the EU came about, perhaps the betrayal of the people of this Country, the sheer treachery of what British Politicians have done over the years when they signed the people of this Country up to the EC/EEC/EU, could be challenged in a Court of law.
Yes, I know and realise many people have tried this before and failed, as have I on two occasions now, but on this matter, this would also touch British Judges too for they too would have to carry an ID card. Only British Judges can Judge in British Courts at the moment. So folks, we live in interesting times.By :
Anne– Posted on :