policies and practices in an agenda of policyharmonisation:
...it is proposed that by 2014 the EU needs to create a 'Euro- Atlantic area of cooperation with the USA in the field of freedom, security and justice'. This would go far beyondcurrent co-operation and mean that policies affecting theliberties and rights of everyone in Europe would not bedetermined in London or Brussels but in secret EU–USmeetings.
Was this a response to 9/11? No, emphatically not. We can say this because some of these schemes have apublished history and timeline dating from muchearlier, e.g., Taiwan, 1997, and India, 1999. We can tracea continuing pursuit of ID-based databases back to the Australia Card, which was defeated in1987. We can also say with certaintythat EU–US cooperation on securitypre-dates 9/11, as does EUdevelopment of security databaseswhich have been applied to politicalprotestors.
What Do ID Cards Do?
The new cards are like a high-tech"glue", an interface, joining togetherall the different state databases andlinking their information together.This is the significance of the "multi-functional" identity function ofthe new cards: one ID number isthe key to access all services andalso all databases. One card, onenumber, tracks a person acrossmultiple activities, across theirwhole life and everything theydo—employment, tax, health,everything. When numerousdatabases are linked together bymeans of a common interface, inthis case ID numbers, theyeffectively function as a single"meta-database".In the
(30 September 2003), home affairseditor Alan Travis wrote that the "citizen informationregister" in Britain will "bring together all the existinginformation held by the government" on its 58 millionresidents:
It will include their name, address, date of birth, sex, and aunique personal number to form a 'more accurate andtransparent' database than existing national insurance,tax, medical, passport, voter and driving licence records...The decision to give the go-ahead to the nationalpopulation register without any apparent need for newlegislation or any public debate is in sharp contrast to theintense cabinet debate now taking place over the...identitycard scheme......The scheme is a joint project between the Office of National Statistics and the Treasury...The idea was developed by the Treasury's public servicesproductivity panel—a group of senior business people andpublic services managers...[The Home Office] admitted a national identity cardscheme will have to be 'underpinned by a database of allUK residents' and asked for views on whether the citizensinformation register should be used for this purpose...
The Indian ID scheme is another major example. According to an article in the
(26 June 2009):
...the UID [Unique IDentification] numbers and thedatabase will be linked to agencies such as the ElectionCommission of India and the Income Tax Department,which...issue...voters photo identitycards...In addition, it will be used for providing services under governmentschemes such as the publicdistribution system, and the NationalRural Employment GuaranteeScheme for families living below thepoverty line...and for delivering financial and other assistance to theneedy.
This is the new model for e-government around the world.Historically, this isn't the firsttime we have seen systems likethis. It is very similar in conceptto the Nazi ID system, as it finallyevolved, with a Reich PersonnelNumber to link all otherdatabases.The system of compiling theinitial population register fromrecords in existing, earlierdatabases is, again, very similarto Nazi practice. Why should this be significant? Why should there be any big dealabout the government collecting together data that italready has? As reported by Henry Porter in his
blog (25February 2009):
'Once an individual has been assigned a unique indexnumber, it is possible to accurately retrieve data acrossnumerous databases and build a picture of thatindividual's life that was not authorised in the originalconsent for data collection,' says Sir David Omand in areport for the Institute for Public Policy Research...In 2006 Sir David Varney, the head of TransformationalGovernment, predicted that the state would know 'a deeptruth about the citizen based on their behaviour, experience,beliefs, needs or desires'.
OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2009www.nexusmagazine.comNEXUS • 13
...one ID number isthe key to accessall services and alsoall databases...When numerousdatabases arelinked togetherby means of acommoninterface, in thiscase ID numbers,they effectivelyfunction as a single"meta-database".