Cameron's ducking and diving at PMQs is infuriating. Blair was slippery but Cameron wouldn't know what a direct answer was if one slapped him in the face.
This post about the DWP's latest snooping plans is worth reading, by the way:http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/03 ... ing-plans/
The Universal Credit system will contain an unprecedented amount of information on all aspects of our lives, much of which will be controlled by private companies. In a chilling development it appears that the database will use ‘voice biometrics’ as part of it’s security protocols.
The new system, which is due to be launched in 2013, will dwarf the plans for a National Identity Register which was dropped by Labour after storms of protest. With the advent of smart phone and hand held readers this new system could easily become an effective, electronic National Identity Card.
Universal Credit is the Government’s policy to replace all benefits and tax credits with one unified benefit. The database set up to manage it will be built into the tax system and rely on the ‘real time reporting’ system for tax payments which is currently in development. It is therefore likely that everyone,with or without a job, will find themselves on the database.
Under Real Time Reporting, the Government will require self-employed tax-payers and PAYE employers to submit monthly figures on earnings. The Government will know where you are on a month to month basis, unlike the current system which only relies on annual returns. This will create a huge amount of additonal work and beaurocracy for self employed people and small firms alike. Like many aspects of the plans, this is something the Government hasn’t been particularly forthcoming about.
Universal Credit is set to be ‘digital by default’ meaning people will only be able to input information online. People without online access at home will be required to use insecure internet cafes and, if they can still find one, libraries, should they need to report in personal information changes to the Government.
It is the voice recognition system however which will be of most concern to civil liberties campaigners. Known as ‘voice biometrics’ this relies on the fact that everyone has a unique ‘voice print’ which can be used to identify them. Whilst it has never been tested on such a huge scale, the DWP are trialling voice recognition technology right now
in the hope of building it into the new system. This has the potential to become an ID Card by default. Whilst coppers will not be able to demand to see your papers they will only need a sample of your voice to access your extensive government file. You have the right to remain silent.
By far the most chilling aspect of the plans however will be the ability of spooks everywhere to track and access your phone calls. The US Echelon satellite famously hoovers up all digital information flying through the air which includes telephone conversations. If they have access to your voice print, they will be able to immediately indentify and record any telephone call you make from any phone in the world.
If big brother UK isn’t listening to you then the CIA may well be. Not to be outdone however are this countries leading eaves-droppers GCHQ. With well founded fears of fraud and hacking being voiced, it is GCHQ who are being brought in to try and prevent this
Iain Duncan Smith said recently: “We are talking to everybody from the private sector right the way through to GCHQ about how and what is the best point at which you protect that information.”
So private companies and spooks alike are set to have access to your Government file.