Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

NOW if someone steals my details with a hand-scanner, I'm going to have to get a new head

Well, I'm now back, but drowning in paperwork, so will be leaving you to enjoy Steve's relevant, readable and generally less arcane posts for a while. Bastard even writes about copyright better that I do, it's all most upsetting.

However, careful readers will be wanting to know whether the guy with the rubber glove at Luton Airport was gentle, to which I have to say I managed to dodge the entire sorry treatment. This was not by shaving off the beard (although that was replaced by a very tasteful handle-bar tache upon my arrival in Morocco), but might have been more to do with my new biometric passport.

I've mentioned before that this sort of thing is not really combatting terrorism, except in the term's technical usage of "keeping the military-industrial complex good and bloated" [see for example, George W. Bush, "By invading Iraq, we will be combatting terrorism"]. Obviously it's too much to ask that they consider anyone's civil liberties while pursing such higher goals as this, but did they really have make it easier for organised crime to steal my identity in the process?

This is compounded by the fact that airport security also seem to trust the new passports more, and so check them less carefully. So in so far as biometric passports have done anything in terms of UK vulnerability to attack by shadowy masterminds, they've presumably made it less safe.


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