Sunday, February 19, 2006

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posted by Irdial , 4:08 PM Þ 

How an Oyster card could ruin your marriage

Lipstick on the collar may point to infidelity, but a check of your travel card can reveal where and when it happened

By Steve Bloomfield

Published: 19 February 2006

Oyster cards, the "smart" little blue thing in London commuters' wallets that enable them to travel at will around the capital, have another, unexpected function. They could also be a one-way ticket to the divorce courts.

For the cards, introduced by the London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, in 2003, don't only let you on to public transport - they also record your every journey. And, private detectives and lawyers report, that is information the suspicious are accessing to track their partner's movements.

And they are increasingly finding that the night she said she was working late in the City, she was actually hopping off the Northern line at Morden, staying there for some hours, before returning to town at 11.17pm. Or when he said he was playing football on Hackney Marshes his informative little Oyster card reveals that he was really catching a bus in Parsons Green.

The electronic lipstick-on-the-collar is revealed to anyone - the holder or their partner - who takes the card to a machine on the Underground or keys in its serial number on a website to get a read-out of every journey taken in the past 10 weeks.

One private investigator said: "Oyster cards won't tell you that the bloke's been cheating on his wife, but it will show if he's been in one part of town when he's supposed to be somewhere else. It is an easy thing to confront your partner with. It doesn't look like you've been snooping around too much."

The use of the cards is the latest weapon in the growing high-tech arsenal of tools used by suspicious partners. A telltale sign such as lipstick on the collar has been replaced by technological snooping such as placing a tracking device on a mobile phone.

Several internet sites now offer mobile phone tracking as a service to worried parents keen to know the whereabouts of their child. But private investigators said spouses who suspect that their partner is cheating are increasingly using mobile phone tracking sites.

Although an SMS message is sent to the mobile that is being tracked confirming the process, if this is deleted before the "target" sees it he or she has no way of knowing they are being followed.

Peter Heims, spokesman for the Association of British Investigators, said technology was transforming the private detective industry.

"Trackers are used on husbands all the time," he said. "You can get one with a magnetic bottom which you stick to the underside of the car. It will track the vehicle via satellite and is accurate to within 10 feet. A lot of companies now use this to check where their travelling salesmen have been."

From software that records every single tap on your lover's keyboard to DIY lie-detector kits, the market for catching a cheating spouse is now bigger than ever.

A company called OverSpy will let you monitor everything your partner does on computer by sending you email reports of the websites visited and emails sent.

Another firm has software that allows someone to retrieve secretly text messages deleted from a partner's phone. All that's needed is the SIM card.

A quick search reveals more than 14,000 websites that will help uncover a partner's infidelities, whether it is opening letters secretly or tapping a partner's mobile answerphone.

Proving adultery is no longer necessary for a court to grant a divorce. But the growth in technology in this area has enabled partners to check their suspicions in a way that was never possible before.

Divorce lawyers said they were sceptical that Oyster cards would be used in divorce proceedings, but accepted that it could lead more people to realise their relationship was over.

Lisa Fabian Lustigman, a family lawyer at city firm Withers LLP, said: "I would never instruct a private investigator to try to track down someone's Oyster card records to prove adultery. I don't think it would be overwhelmingly helpful."

But it has already happened in Hong Kong, where a similar scheme was introduced eight years ago. Suspicious husbands and wives obtained print-outs of their spouse's travel card to use as evidence in divorce proceedings. In the former British colony, the "smart" cards are used for shopping as well.

If London follows Hong Kong's example, Oyster cards will soon become even more useful for the distrusting partner.

Transport bosses in London hope to expand the concept here, allowing card holders to pay for their shopping in nearly 4,000 shops with their travel card. The records of where a person has shopped, as well as where they have travelled, will then be stored on the card.


Amazingly, this 'Steve Bloomfield' did not make the obvious connection to the proposed ID card scheme.

As we know these cards will be used to check your entry on the register in real time, by swiping them through a card reader at your bank, at the post office, at your doctors office, at the pharmacy, in an off licence, supermarket etc etc.

Each time your entry on the register is accessed, a record will be kept of what entity swiped your card and where and when it was swiped, at a minimum. This means that anyone who wants to know where you were, what you were doing etc etc could go to court and demand access to your NIR records to see where and when and to whom you had presented your card (or where you card was presented, because obviously your card can be swiped without you being there). This can then be used in a court case against you.

The proposed ID card is like an Oyster for your whole life. Oyster collects data about your travel on the TFL system as a part of its function; the ID card will collect information about your entire life, as you use it every day just to do the most simple of things, like buy a pack of cigarettes or a pint of beer of a box of aspirin.

And what is even more astonishing, is that the Home Secretary can revoke your ID card. Your ID card (and hence, your identity) does not belong to you, it belongs to the state, so if for any reason, the state revokes your ID card or suspends your NIR record, you will not be able to withdraw your own money from the bank.

How anyone can be for this is simply beyond belief.
posted by Irdial , 11:42 AM Þ 
Saturday, February 18, 2006

Support Democracy, not the Middle East

Dear Irdial,


Want an easy way to help America's poor stay warm this winter? Buy Citgo gasoline.

Find a station near you.

Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor.1 The money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela - not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East.

"Citgo is not just another oil company," says Citgo CEO Felix Rodriguez. "With Venezuela's state oil company, of which we are a subsidiary, we share a broad social mission." So buy Citgo gasoline and support democracy in South America:

Find the Citgo station closest to your home address.

And this winter Citgo is helping out less fortunate Americans, too.

You already may have seen the headlines about how Citgo, unlike every other oil company in the U.S., is making cut-rate heating oil available to struggling families in the Northeast. The Energy Department predicts a nearly 26 percent jump in heating costs this winter compared with last year,2 and despite a year of record oil company profits, the country's heating oil assistance fund is falling behind.3

Citgo has stepped in to help out. They're selling heating oil at discounted rates to poorer communities in Massachusetts and the Bronx, NY, and working on deals to keep low-income homes in Rhode Island and Vermont warm, too.

So while you're out on the road this month, you can help some fellow Americans by filling your tank with Venezuelan gas. Here's a link to find the nearest one of the 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the U.S.:

Find the Citgo station closest to your home address.

Naturally, if you can get where you're going without a car, do so. And we'll continue to work for a country with more renewable energy options. But in the meantime, help your Northeast neighbors by supporting Citgo when you drive.

Find the Citgo station closest to your home address:

Thanks for all that you do,

Matt Holland


Well well well.

Here we have some americans who are saying that the middle east oil companies should be boycotted, until 'they act like us'.

Of course, everyone everywhere is saying that YOU Matt Holland and your countrymen should act like the rest of the world, and until you do so YOU and YOUR COUNTRY and its CURRENCY should be boycotted.

I think this is entirely correct. A world that is bipolar, like a magnet, is a good thing. Magnetic Monopoles, unnatural in the marcro world, should be shunned. That means, no New World Order, no world government, and no trading with people that cannot bring themselvs to behave (ie not murder indiscriminately for money). That means no Islamic republic or Islamic Monarchy dealing in any way with non Islamic countries. It means the entire world boycotting the usa. It means the usa, totally minding its own business in every way, including not dumping its billions of charity dollars on other countries.

I wonder what people like True Majority, who call for a boycott of other peoples countries just because they choose to govern in a different way to the usa, would think about a world wide shunning of the usa over its imperialist aggression. Would they be in favour of it? Would they even call for it?

Now that would be something.
posted by Irdial , 1:14 PM Þ 

#Starting up bitch tits...
#Done! You crazy Mozart lovin' sucka...

before I start, copy and paste that text into a file, call it and run it to leech the Danish broadcasters free Motzart celebratory concert.

Now, to AT's rhetorical questions.

So why should I be scared?

Because you are a human being. Because you don't want your door to be kicked in in the middle of the night and have yourself taken off to a torture house because you blogged someting. Anyone who doesn't think that this can come to pass has no idea of what sort of world this is becoming. It is already happening all over the place, and if you do and say nothing, you or someone you know, (which is the same thing) will be next.

The US & UK gov. will carry on regardless, whether I choose to defy them or not.

This is a lie.

This is what monkies say when it rains in the jungle, and they sit there getting wet instead of moving into the protection of trees just a stones throw away. This 'Whatever' generation, these milk blooded, transparent skinned Eloi cattle make me sick. The lack of imagination, the lack of history, both ancient and modern, the lack of guts, self respect, dignity...its almost like they are another type of human to the ones living in and born around the '60s. I can't stand them, their talk or their defeatism and their lack of spirit and dangerous weakness.


OK so I think that ID cards could, and will, be brought down by mass disobedience if they are instated, and the statistics of US tourism declining due to US-VISIT might make the US repeal this policy, but can we stop the banks & shops mining our data? Is there any point?

I went to my bank a few weeks ago. They have a new policy of not giving you your own money unless you have ID, if the amount is above a certain arbitrary level. A man in the que in front of me asked for 1000 cash from a cheque. He had banked at this branch for over 20 years. Everyone knew him. The man went ballistic when they refused to give him his money. He turned his back on the teller, and refused to move till they gave him his cash. They brought over the manager. He told her, "if I don't recieve my cash immediately, I am going to shut my accounts".

They handed him his cash without showing ID.

Banks more than ANY instituion will do EXACTLY what their customers want. People doing a 'run' on a bank is enough to destroy them in a single week. If enough people demand it, they will put in place any facility you desire. People with experience in the private banking world understand just what the true nature of the relationship between customer and bank really is.

It's your money in the bank. You should be able to set your own level of security from a basket of choices - signature only, two forms of ID, or just recognition by a teller; the choice should be yours, because you are the CLIENT and they are the SERVANT. People today, especially in the UK have a distorted image of what a bank is; the status of bank manager is vastly over inflated. He is nothing more than a head waiter at a restaurant serving cash. This falsely elevated status probably has to do whith the apalling lack of competition in high street banking as traditionally found in the UK, either way, there is alot you can do to change the behaviour of banks and the policy they have towards your private data. All you have to do is ASK for it, and if they will not give you what you want, organize a run on your bank and then... start your own bank.

I find it hard to express my deeply routed feelings to my peers, they think I'm being overly paranoid, resisting for the sake of it and missing out on opportunities to prove some phyrric principles.

Then you need better peers. Actually, they are not your peers at all, they are inferior to you in every way that counts. People like you, who have principles (even if its in principle) are head and shoulders above the masses, the ignorant, the impotent, the defeated at birth. You are the standard bearer, the guardian of everything that is right. Just by speaking the words you are doing your part to keep the true nature of man's relationship with his fellow man and his institutions in its proper place.

Don't be discouraged. Do not let their poison enter your blood and corrupt your clean spirit. There is not a single tyranical government, system or group of people that has not been brought down and ground into dust. Should this great country turn to the dark side, it too will either perish in its entirety or its great people will rout the evil monsters that are trying to make Britain into a mirror of the Soviet Union. People like you are the agents of change. Never let the lie of 'there is nothing you can do' find a resting place in your head. Its a total lie.
posted by Irdial , 1:30 AM Þ 
Friday, February 17, 2006

Hello AT!

they can't stop me from being me, can they?
Sounds like a line from The Prisoner.

but is there anything unnatural about statistics?

Well... have you ever seen a statistition? Pale, hairless things with no eyelids and hands evolved around ergonomic keyboards, unable to see the real world without a Matrix-like superimposed numerical scaffold... Sometimes they breed with epidemiologists and spawn monsters that come up with ideas like... ID cards.

Loyalty cards etc., I can accept as personal choices. I choose not to have any, and it's
hard to decide whether that choice is based on paranoia or dissent, or a basic hatred for Tesco et al. That said, if it was my mate on the fruit stall keeping all my reciepts and then one day... 'I've got those Pakistani mangoes you like so much... kept you a box'... I doubt I would complain.
But this man and/or Tescos can't control my apparent freedoms through a loyalty card.

Whereas ID cards... well, if I am forced to have one when I apply for a passport (even though the government tells us it's not compulsory without further legislation!) and refuse, then my travel is restricted. My NHS a11y is removed. (! I learnt that abb. from the Fedora website this morning). Etc. etc. etc. ID cards are a looooooooooooooooooong way from being '
all these guys are doing is advanced statistics.' If this was in reference to ID cards then this very clever person is also a raving loon. Clever people like that will be chipped and PINned down, and forced to have their retinas scanned just before the cage of rabid rats is strapped to their face.

So I think paranoia is entirely justified. In fact, it should be a mandatory emotion to be invoked prior to any discussion of ID cards.

The US & UK gov. will carry on regardless, whether I choose to defy them or not

Only while the defying is toothless. Every weekend there are people in York collecting signatures against the Iraq war. !!!!!!!!!!!! Meanwhile 1 man witholds his tax in protest and gets fucked over.
But if 1,000,000 idiots withheld taxes instead of signing a piece of paper....

Deja vu. N'est pas? Time for beer. Get it now, before your government-endorsed publican refuses you service without swiping your card. What? I've had statistically too much alcohol this week? No more till Tuesday? Bugger this, I'm off to Portmeirion
posted by Alun , 3:35 PM Þ 

Thought for the Day, 17 February 2006

The Rt Rev. James Jones

Last autumn I was invited to give a lecture in America on religion and the environment. When I checked in for my flight home there was clearly a difficulty. The man at the desk kept checking his computer screen against my ticket and passport. I eventually asked if there was a problem. "Yes" he said, "You're on the 'People to watch list'." I said "there must be some mistake." He left his desk, made a phone call, returned and waved me through. I spent the rest of the journey wondering what it takes to become a candidate for 'extraordinary rendition'!

A few weeks ago I returned to America for an important engagement. I'd checked in, cleared security when once again I was told that I was on 'the people to watch' list. The official was holding a computer print-out with several names and sure enough there was 'James Jones'. But not me - for he had a different middle name. In the interests of national security I'd better not reveal it.

Now I know Jones is a common name and maybe I've just got to get used to this - but it's a sign of the new world that's coming where computers rule with human beings as obedient hand-maidens.

It's no wonder there's so much nervous debate about ID cards and Terrorism laws that seem to be whittling away our freedoms. It's because we're suffering from a reactive anxiety to a new power that we've created.

Human beings throughout history have always been alert to the power of others. And at cataclysmic moments people have risen up and, in the words of the Magnificat, 'have brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly'.

But we have little control over this new power.

When one of our children was learning to surf the net she burst into my study to tell me there were over 4000 pages about me on the internet. 'What do I do about that?' I asked. 'Nothing you can do, Dad'. This is a world where we've have already lost control over what is known about us. It's a world where your credit rating and your financial worth is known by people to whom you yourself have not given this information.

I'm not here addressing the Luddite Convention of the Twenty First Century! I know there are huge benefits to be gained from information technology. But 'in-formation' is the point - it means how we're formed and begs the question about how this power is shaped our world

Reaching for the Bible or any other sacred text at such a point might seem foolish since they were given in an age where such things couldn't even be imagined.

But when it comes to power be it technological or political, it's life-saving to hear Jesus say 'Have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be revealed. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul - you are of more value,?'

I've been internally debating my feelings over ID cards, US-VISIT, supermarkets, credit cards and the rest of it recently. I heard Thought for the Day this morning and it seemed to resonate. Why should I be scared. I know these things are bad. Wrong. But as I know I am already above them, they can't stop me from being me, can they?

I was emailing a very clever person about this. He said:

on the one hand you could be scared of it, but on the other hand, maybe you shouldn't be. i mean, all these guys are doing is advanced statistics. so the future is all about data mining and finding out what we can find out from all the data which is being procured all of the time. maybe it's like the industrial revolution, you can fear the technology because it seems unnatural, but is there anything unnatural about statistics?

So why should I be scared? Why should I let them stop me doing what I want to do? The US & UK gov. will carry on regardless, whether I choose to defy them or not. OK so I think that ID cards could, and will, be brought down by mass disobedience if they are instated, and the statistics of US tourism declining due to US-VISIT might make the US repeal this policy, but can we stop the banks & shops mining our data? Is there any point?

I find it hard to express my deeply routed feelings to my peers, they think I'm being overly paranoid, resisting for the sake of it and missing out on opportunities to prove some phyrric principles.
posted by alex_tea , 2:30 PM Þ 

...gammadelta T cells are cytotoxic for AM and pulDC.

It worked! The last piece of a three-year jigsaw.
posted by Alun , 11:07 AM Þ 
Thursday, February 16, 2006

which Linux distro to choose/use?

I am running Fedora Core 4. I have previously run Red Hat (way back with the picasso release), Mandrake, SuSe, and Debian and I just tried out Ubuntu. I did'nt like Ubuntu at all, Mandrake was very usable, SuSe is ok, and Debian wouldn't run my mouse (no /dev/mouse/ after installing).

Fedora does it best for me so far, running Gnome 2.10. You want lots of packages built for your distro, and Fedora has lots of momentum and many packages. You can do everything on a Fedora Box, including running an iTunes server, run any windoze app faster than the same hardware running XP via Codeweavers Crossover play any movie with Xine and VLC, really, there is no reason to use anything else. I currently get 60 day uptimes before I break somehthing. Its as solid as a rock, no doubt about it.

If I had to try another distro, I would have a crack at Gentoo, but I don't have the time or the spare hardware.
posted by Irdial , 9:34 PM Þ 

Sicker and sicker od M$; Can someone remind me which Linux distro to choose/use?
posted by slip , 9:06 PM Þ 

The giants of the internet were hauled before Congress yesterday, accused of colluding with China's secret police and censors to wield a "cyber sledgehammer of repression".

[...] Guardian

and of selling out the principles of democracy and free speech for profit by bowing to China's demands to censor web content and monitor email.

"Cooperation with tyranny should not be embraced for the sake of profits," said Chris Smith, the Republican chairman of the House subcommittee on

Hypocritical bellyaching from the US establishment, meanwhile China's old guard are coming round to the realisation that
censorship is unsustainable.
posted by meau meau , 1:47 PM Þ 

Ah you beat me to the Vista story.

I shall just add that the majority of ATM/ticketing machines run a variant of windoze and those networks will be upgraded to some version of Vista in due course, thus the 'backdoor' would be a honeypot for credit card fraud.

In all likelihood the NIR will run a variant of windoze. You KNOW what that means.
posted by meau meau , 11:05 AM Þ 

UK holds Microsoft security talks
By Ollie Stone-Lee
BBC News political reporter

UK officials are talking to Microsoft over fears the new version of Windows could make it harder for police to read suspects' computer files.

Windows Vista is due to be rolled out later this year. Cambridge academic Ross Anderson told MPs it would mean more computer files being encrypted.

He urged the government to look at establishing "back door" ways of getting around encryptions.

The Home Office later told the BBC News website it is in talks with Microsoft.

Unlicensed music

Professor Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, was giving evidence to the Commons home affairs select committee about time limits on holding terrorism suspects without charge.

He said: "From later this year, the encryption landscape is going to change with the release of Microsoft Vista."

The system uses BitLocker Drive Encryption which can be linked to a chip called TPM (Trusted Platform Module) in the computer's motherboard.

The system is aimed at preventing tampering with computers but it would also help prevent people from downloading unlicensed films or media.

"This means that by default your hard disk is encrypted by using a key that you cannot physically get at...

"An unfortunate side effect from law enforcement is it would be technically fairly seriously difficult to dig encrypted material out of the system if it has been set up competently."

Guessing passwords

Professor Anderson said people were discussing the idea of making computer vendors ensure "back door keys" to encrypted material were made available.

The Home Office should enter talks with Microsoft now rather than when the system is introduced, he said.

He said encryption tools generally were either good or useless.

"If they are good, you either guess the password or give up," he said.

The committee heard that suspects could claim to have lost their encryption key - although juries could decide to let this count this against them in the same way as refusing to answer questions in a police interview.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Office has already been in touch with Microsoft concerning this matter and is working closely with them."

Increased awareness about high-tech crime and computer crime has prompted the Home Office to talk to IT companies regularly about new software.

Government officials look at the security of new systems, whether they are easy for the general public to hack into and how the police can access material in them. [...]

Convinced yet?

If you run Vista, you are a total fool. Not only will you need new, crippled harware to run it, but it will be compromised out of the box.

Does HMG REALLY think that M$ is going to make a double-crippled version just for the UK, and that if this happened, that the machines would be unpatchable, or that no one would order a demi-crippled copy of Vista from abroad?

Does anyone think that the NSA has not already had a meeting just like this with M$?

And finally, in true BBQ style, they misrepresent Ross Anderson by saying that, "He urged the government to look at establishing "back door" ways of getting around encryptions." This is his position in his own words:

    [...] is there any chance of giving us a bit more detail into your proposals for backdoors?

  • 4. Jack | February 15th, 2006 at 17:11

    Yes, I?m curious about this as well. It?s not every day that a security expert calls for a backdoor!

    However, I see from your webpage that you are no fan of ?trusted? computing. Is that, perhaps, why you are calling for a back door in Vista? So that Vista users will be able to circumvent the restrictions enforced on them by TCPA, by obtaining their own private key?

  • 5. Ross Anderson | February 15th, 2006 at 17:12

    I?m in favour of court-mandated shortcuts past rights-management systems, on competition-policy grounds. In our APIG submission I wrote ?In cases of abuse, judges must be able to order rights-management mechanisms unlocked?.

    I don?t see the Vista security mechanisms as being security for me, but as security for them. It?s just not the same as the key escrow debates of the 1990s - in which I opposed key escrow on principle. The technology?s being used for different things here.

    If you want privacy, use PGP - or better still, some low-observable communication technology, such as throwaway prepaid mobile phones or webmail accounts


And there you have it a three minute burst of research clears up the smear. Total misrepresentation, just as we expect from that down-dumbing, LCD pandering, police state facilitating lie factory and its deluded servant-nincompoops, like the author of this piece. Think about it, what on earth is a 'political reporter' doing writing a piece that is about a DRM / Encryption system without the help of someone who is computer literate?

Shabby shabby SHABBY!
posted by Irdial , 10:45 AM Þ 

Dick Cheney, then [assistant] White House Chief of Staff to President Ford...was the reason my family had travelled to Wyoming where I endured yet another form of brutality - his version of "A Most Dangerous Game," or human hunting.... Dick Cheney had an apparent addiction to the "thrill of the sport." He appeared obsessed with playing A Most Dangerous Game as a means of traumatizing mind control victims, as well as to satisfy his own perverse sexual kinks.
posted by chriszanf , 2:51 AM Þ 

I am still at work.

Isn't science beautiful!?

I hope my experiment works.
posted by Alun , 12:02 AM Þ 
Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Structure of epilson15 bacteriophage, a virus that infects Salmonella. One end of the DNA genome (blue) is poised for injection into a host cell. (Photo courtesy / Wah Chiu)

The bacteriophage T4 is preparing to infect its host cell. The structure of bacteriophage T4 is derived from three-dimensional cryo-electron microscopy reconstructions of the baseplate, tail sheath and head capsid, as well as from crystallographic analyses of various phage components. The baseplate and tail proteins are shown in distinct colors. Credit: Purdue University and Seyet LLC. The animation is based on both recent discoveries and extensive earlier work by a large number of investigators. A full list of contributors is available at the conclusion of the animation. See: (20.7MB).

This composite image shows the combined structure of Coxsackievirus A21 and a "receptor molecule" called ICAM-1, or intracellular adhesion molecule 1. The virus is one of the viruses that causes the common cold, and the receptor molecule enables the virus to attach to and infect host cells. ICAM-1, located on the surfaces of cells, is represented in blue, and the virus is represented as red. Researchers at Purdue University have determined the structure of the virus-molecule complex by combining images taken using X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. (Graphic/Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University)

posted by Irdial , 10:54 PM Þ 

"The Samaritans have today recruited 600 extra staff to deal with an expected surge in calls as troubled fans come to terms with today's revelations about rocker and teen icon Pete Doherty. In a surprise press conference today, the men behind Doherty's career reveled themselves - and admitted that the Libertines, Babyshambles, the tales of drug use, the armed robberies and the affair with supermodel Kate Moss have all been part of one of the largest hoaxes in British history."

Pete Doherty and the KLF
posted by Claus Eggers , 5:34 PM Þ 

The Failure of US-VISIT

US-VISIT is the program to program to fingerprint and otherwise keep tabs on foreign visitors to the U.S. A recent article talks about how the program is being rolled out, but the last paragraph is the most interesting:

"Since January 2004, US-VISIT has processed more than 44 million visitors. It has spotted and apprehended nearly 1,000 people with criminal or immigration violations, according to a DHS press release."

I wrote about US-VISIT in 2004, and back then I said that it was too expensive and a bad trade-off. The price tag for "the next phase" was $15B; I'm sure the total cost is much higher.

But take that $15B number. One thousand bad guys, most of them not very bad, caught through US-VISIT. That's $15M per bad guy caught.

Surely there's a more cost-effective way to catch bad guys?

My previous essay on the topic:


Schneier shines his logic light once again. My emphasis.

This can be transfered directly to the ID card fiasco about to (maybe) be unleashed on the british public. It will cost BILLIONS and only a handful of people will get caught, for the most minor of 'offences'.

Millions of brave men voluntarily gave their lives so that we could live like free men. Are we now going to throw away our birthright just to (theoretically, because the scheme will categorically not do this) catch some guys who might or might not kill 100 or so people? Or 3000 people?

And are we going to give up our privacy and freedom just to (theoretically, because the scheme will categorically not do this) catch a few thousand benefit fraudsters? Or people who have not paid their road tax? (referring to the blanked surveillance of all roads in the UK)

I think not.
posted by Irdial , 2:21 PM Þ 

Economics must not dictate situations which are obviously religious.
posted by Irdial , 1:16 AM Þ 
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Why You Should Resist the National ID Card

Prison Planet | September 16 2005

This piece focuses on the introduction of the British national ID card but the same principles can be applied in any country.

1) A government engaging in escalating criminal actions and becoming more and more secretive should not be watching and tracking us as if we're all criminals. The same goes for CCTV surveillance. That's not freedom. Would you let a convicted murderer and pedophile watch your child 24/7?

The often peddled mantra of 'why should you care if you have nothing to hide?' is manifestly ridiculous in light of the fact that we have a government that has everything to hide and yet we're the ones under suspicion.

Should it concern us that our government shredded hundreds of thousands of documents before a 1st January Freedom of Information deadline? Why should the government care about freedom of information if they have nothing to hide?

But they did care enough to order this mass shredding.

We are told by the government to make our lives completely transparent or go to jail while the government itself becomes more secretive than ever before.

Why should they know everything about me when they won't tell me anything about them?

Would you walk up to a gang of criminals and give them your credit card and PIN number?

2) The government told us that the ID card would make our information more secure. Blair said this would protect, not infringe our liberties. And how did they propose paying for it? By selling the information of 44 million British citizens to private companies. How secure is that?

3) As a perspective on how governing powers use ID cards, consider the fact that residents of Fallujah in Iraq were finger scanned, given retina scans and ID cards just to be able to leave and enter the village. Every citizen is treated as a potential insurgent and is given an ID card. Is that how our government views us all, as potential insurgents?

So, what do you have to hide? is the wrong question. The question should be, why does the government need to know everything about me?

4) ID cards will not stop terrorism. Even the Home Secretary Charles Clarke admitted it after the London bombings. In addition, the Blair government has been caught faking terror alerts to push through increased power. Firstly in the case of the Ricin plot that never was and also an attack on Canary Wharf which was admitted to be totally scripted. Furthermore, the so-called London bombing mastermind was an MI6 asset. Reams of evidence point to the bombings being an inside job, one of the purposes of which was making British people accept ID cards. Large scale terrorist atrocities worldwide always lead back to government perpetrators. In this instance it is important to recall Herman Goering's quote,

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

5) Top criminologists have gone public to say that ID cards will actually result in an increase in identity theft, not a decrease as the government claims.

6) The introduction of the national ID card is one step further towards the mandatory implantation of ID chips in all British citizens. Does this sound outlandish? Implantable chip technology has been in existence for a decade and discussions on ID chipping humans is in the news regularly. Tommy Thompson, the former Health and Human Services Secretary in the Bush administration, had a chip implanted and is now touring the country lauding the virtues of ID chips. During the the confirmation hearings for John Roberts Jr., George W. Bush's nominee for Supreme Court chief justice, Roberts was questioned by Senator Joseph R. Biden on whether he would rule against a mandatory implantable microchip to track American citizens.

7) The purpose of government is to serve the people, not control them. Any scheme of national registration is alien to the basic fundamental principles of a supposed free country.


posted by Irdial , 9:57 PM Þ 

BBC Poll: 75% Oppose UK ID Cards On Security Grounds

Paul Joseph Watson | February 14 2006

Far from being in the minority, a BBC website poll shows that 75% don't believe that ID cards will make the UK safer.

The government has been caught in the past manipulating phone polls to make it appear as if the majority of the country supports the introduction of ID cards when this is clearly not the case. [...]

posted by Irdial , 9:48 PM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 3:13 PM Þ 

Someone clever said:

What the hell is wrong with England?!? You people invented modern democratic society and civil rights, and you've been happily flushing it down the drain, piece by piece, ever since the end of WWII. (Would you really be any worse off at this point if the Nazis had won?) Gun control, CCTV, now ID cards--every time I look at America's problems, I can always cheer myself up by remembering that whatever we're doing wrong, you're guaranteed to do something worse.

And what kind of politics have you got going now where the Conservatives are for civil liberties and Labour are the fascists? That's just bizarre. [...]

Remember; you are not obliged to obey an immoral law. In fact, its quite the opposite.
posted by Irdial , 1:18 AM Þ 
Monday, February 13, 2006

Here we go....

He said the plans would prevent "one of the central features of terrorist activity", which is criminals' use of multiple identities.

The central feature of terrorist activity is the unrestrained violence of USUK against people in other countries. Period.

One 11 September hijacker used 30 false identities to obtain credit cards and $250,000, he said.

This is a private matter between lenders and fraudsters. It is not the state's responsibilyt to underwrite identity, and of course, this has NOTHING to do with 'terrorism'. The instant response will be, "they use these fradulently obtained monies to fund terrorist actifities". I call bullshit; these guys have no problem getting money from donations. This is not an issue.

"Since then the problem has, if anything, worsened," he said. "Over the last few years the major terrorist suspects arrested, typically, have had up to 50 false identities each." [...]
None of this has anything to do with eliminating the motivation behind 'terrorism'. A determined man with legitimate paperwork (as was the case in Spain - see how they leave out examples that do not support their bogus argumens) can do literally anything that a person with 100 false identities can. You are going to have to do MUCH better than this you total idiot!

Single security budget

The issue of glorification of terrorism will go before MPs on Wednesday - and Mr Brown warned that opposition to the plans would "send the wrong signal".

He said no-one should be able to "publicly celebrate and glorify what happened in London" following the 7 July, 2005 bombings.

why not?

"If we withdraw glorification from the definition of indirect incitement, or from the grounds for proscribing organisations, as is being proposed by opponents this week, this would send the wrong signal that we could not reach a consensus on how serious this issue of glorification is."

what??!?! the serious matter in this is VIOLENCE not 'the issue of glorification' The serious issue is senseless unjustified, unilateral, illegal, immoral VIOLENCE, as perpetrated by USUK. No one cares what consensus you do or do not reach. As long as you continue to prod that hornets nest, you are going to upset the hornets. Simple.

Mr Brown also said he was considering the possibility of a single security budget. [...]

WOW. My emphasis, in bold and observaions in italics. Note the heading of this section, and how it only refers to the last sentence of the section!

How does that song by The Who go? "Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss". This wont go on forever...that is for certain.

posted by Irdial , 2:56 PM Þ 

Defence expert undermines Blair on safety of ID cards

David Hencke and Vikram Dodd
Monday February 13, 2006
The Guardian

A British Nato and defence specialist today undermines Tony Blair and Charles Clarke's claims that the new identity cards database for 60 million British citizens is safe and secure.

The disclosure to the Guardian came as Mr Blair was flying home from South Africa overnight to vote this evening to introduce compulsory ID cards and give ministers powers to order all motorists to replace their driving licence with a new one requiring a biometric ID card.

Brian Gladwin, from Worcester, now a security consultant to US government agencies, said Mr Blair and the home secretary had got it wrong when they accused critics of producing "a technically incompetent report" on ID cards. They had accused the report's main author, a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, Simon Davies, of bias because he is also a director of Privacy International, a human rights group that opposes ID cards.

Now Dr Gladwin, who led research into protecting foreign spies from compromising the country's most secure communciations system, has written to Mr Blair saying he was the author of the sections of the report dealing with safety and security. He pointed out that the "technically incompetent" data was subject to review by the LSE before publication by two "independent information security experts, both of whom are internationally recognised for their expertise".

He warns the new database will "create safety and security risks for all those whose details are entered on the system".

In a damning blow to ministers' claims of bias, he tells Mr Blair "in case you think that I am an opponent of ID cards, I should point out that I support an irrevocably voluntary, self-funded ID card scheme".

He reveals he would rather pay fines than join a compulsory scheme, saying "it is shameful that those who are less well-off will be forced to put themselves at serious risk for a system that serves no purpose that cannot be achieved in other, more effective and less costly ways". [...],,1708462,00.html

My emphasis.

Interesting, how the authors of a 'sexed up dossier' have the gall to accuse someone else of producing an 'incompetent report'. But then again, compare that to having the guts to committ mass murder in front of the whole world, well, its nothing isnt it?

posted by Irdial , 10:55 AM Þ 

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