Thursday, 6 August 2009

‘Secure’ ID card – cloned and altered in 12 minutes

Laurie is holding one of 51,000 ID cards issued by the Home Office to foreign nationals currently working or studying in Britain.

It is similar to the ID card for British citizens unveiled last week by Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, as part of the Government's ongoing National Identity Scheme.

Embedded inside the card for foreigners is a microchip with the details of its bearer held in electronic form: name, date of birth, physical characteristics, fingerprints and so on, together with other information such as immigration status and whether the holder is entitled to State benefits.

This chip is the vital security measure that, so the Government believes, will make identity cards 'unforgeable'.

The same technology in the ‘new, improved’ Passports by the way.

But as I watch, Laurie picks up a mobile phone and, using just the handset and a laptop computer, electronically copies the ID card microchip and all its information in a matter of minutes.

He then creates a cloned card, and with a little help from another technology expert, he changes all the information the card contains - the physical details of the bearer, name, fingerprints and so on. And he doesn't stop there.

With a few more keystrokes on his computer, Laurie changes the cloned card so that whereas the original card holder was not entitled to benefits, the cloned chip now reads 'Entitled to benefits'.

As a chilling twist, he adds a message that would be visible to any police officer or security official who scanned the card: 'I am a terrorist - shoot on sight.'

I bet you didn’t know the ID card contains these sort of options, did you?

More disturbing still, it could be used to cover the tracks of terrorists planning atrocities on British or foreign soil. By any sensible measure, his demonstration, as part of a special Mail investigation, should be the final nail in the coffin of the Government's £5.4-billion ID scheme.

I doubt it. They are in bed with too many corporations with data mining contracts and are bound by the EU Laws concerning ID cards, which the government tries to deny. Also connected are the new Passports and EU Directive 95/46/EC.

There is also a bigger picture to this. In true Fabian fashion, nations all over the world are implementing centralised digital population registers, especially in the EU. (All nations being bound by EU Law). The issue is ownership. The government is essentially taking ownership of these (over) 50 points of data off of you, and imposing upon you the obligation to constantly update their database, else you risk a £1000 fine. For you own information. On their computers. On top of that, recently a Royal Courts of Justice ruling has set a disgustingly totalitarian precedent;

It would mean any civil/public servant and/or offices of the civil service could commit any act of wilful negligence without fear of legal action and with absolute impunity.

Imagine. A centralised collection of the most critical, important information that exists for you to interact with society. Forced together in one place (would you put your PIN with your credit card?) and that will be accessible by millions of civil servants, private businesses and even other countries.

On top of all that, is the inevitable lax in integrity-checking that is bound to occur with these new fangled super-duper ID cards. Incompetent (and unaccountable) civil servants will assume the technology is perfect, and not pay as much attention. Anyway, there is absolutely no reason why the government should assume central authority over such data. Unless it wants to position itself as the All-Seeing-Eye of all transactions.

Fuck the government. Put that in your fucking database you bunch of fascist cunts.

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