UK Liberty

Another one of the good guys

Posted in ID Cards, law and order, state-citizen relationship, surveillance society by ukliberty on May 21, 2007

[hat-tip: Ideal Government]

EADT24 (Suffolk and Essex online):

SUFFOLK’S most senior policeman last night questioned whether controversial ID cards would be the solution to major crime – saying they could become the “gold standard” for hackers.

The Government could make the cards compulsory from around 2010 in a bid to crack down on terrorism and organised crime – but Suffolk’s Acting Chief Constable Colin Langham-Fitt has voiced his doubts over their use.

He called for a full debate over the creeping increase in surveillance, saying people needed to take a “step back” to assess whether it made them feel comfortable and safer.

But he warned ID cards could even change the relationship between the police and the community, if officers are seen as “agents of the state”.

“There should be a debate about the ongoing erosion of civil liberties in the name of the fight against terrorism and the fight against crime,” Mr Langham-Fitt said.

“Are we all happy to have our cards monitored wherever we go, to be on CCTV and to have our shopping tracked? With all this surveillance available, the question needs to be asked – are we happy with that? Does it make us feel better and safer?

“I haven’t got the answers but I would welcome the debate – a debate beyond the clichéd response of ‘if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about’.”

He added: “Every measure like this is going to impinge on civil liberties. The debate has to be had – are these sensible precautions in a dangerous world or are we reacting to things in the belief they will solve them but at the end of the day they might not have any impact.”

Can’t argue with any of that.

The trouble is the Government doesn’t seem interested in a genuine debate.


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