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New Plan In UK For "Big Brother" Database 178

Posted by kdawson
from the for-our-own-good dept.
POPE Mad Mitch writes "The BBC is reporting that Tony Blair is going to unveil plans on Monday to build a single database to pull together and share every piece of personal data from all government departments. The claimed justification is to improve public services. The opposition party and the Information Commission have both condemned the plan as another step towards a 'Big Brother' society. Sharing information in this way is currently prohibited by the 'over-zealous' data protection legislation. An attempt to build a similar database was a key part of the, now severely delayed, ID card scheme."
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New Plan In UK For "Big Brother" Database

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  • Good luck... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShaunC (203807) * on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:35PM (#17608696)
    They've already tried it once, and so has the FBI/DOJ, both of them dropping the ball and wasting millions of taxpayer dollars/pounds. A modest team of pros should be able to complete a project like this for far less money and in a reasonable amount of time, it's getting to where I don't think they actually intend to make these systems function, it's just a money pit. Another pork project for the IT consultancies who happen to know the right people.
    • Re:Good luck... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by setirw (854029) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:40PM (#17608754) Homepage
      American intelligence agencies are now looking to Wiki [nytimes.com] solutions for sharing intelligence, and it's far superior to any previous databases. Although it hasn't existed long enough to draw final conclusions, many say it works well. Perhaps UK intelligence agencies will follow America's lead and do the same?
      • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) * on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:02PM (#17608914) Homepage Journal
        http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2002/l_ 201/l_20120020731en00370047.pdf [eu.int]

        http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/dltr/articles/200 2dltr0014.html [duke.edu]

        Does GB intend to withdraw from the EU?

        If so, the "Big Brother" talk is more than idle literary reference. We can move forward with renaming Britannia to "Airstrip One."
        • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday January 15, 2007 @12:23AM (#17609500)
          What in particular in the European Digital Privacy Directive do you imagine prevents sharing data between government departments?

          • by mrogers (85392) on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:20AM (#17611156)
            Information can only be gathered and used for a specified purpose - you can't "reuse" information for purposes other than those for which it was gathered.

            With a new database the government could get round this by specifying a very broad range of purposes for the data (as Transport For London did with the Oyster card [spy.org.uk]), but that tactic can't be applied to an existing database.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Blue Stone (582566)

              Information can only be gathered and used for a specified purpose - you can't "reuse" information for purposes other than those for which it was gathered.

              Maybe they have a specific purpose - they only need to cstate it - they want to have a broad overview of everyone's behaviour so they can lock them up if their assessment of that behaviour indicates that they may become a future criminal:[Empasis mine]

              The government is planning "behaviour orders" for people considered to be at risk of committing a violent crime. The orders, similar in principle to Asbos, would put curfews or other restrictions on potential offenders, who might have no criminal convictions.

              The Sunday Times reported that "risk factors" that could lead to a person being subject to an order would include a person's upbringing, "cognitive deficiencies", "entrenched pro-criminal or antisocial attitudes", or "a history of substance abuse or mental health issues".

              Link - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6261791.stm [bbc.co.uk]

        • Does GB intend to withdraw from the EU?"

          None of the major political parties do. I'm sure the majority of the population (oblivious to the benefits) would like to though.

          We can move forward with renaming Britannia to "Blairstrip One."

          Fixed.

      • by malsdavis (542216)

        American intelligence agencies are now looking to Wiki solutions for sharing intelligence, and it's far superior to any previous databases.

        Right, so a concept which has been around for a few years is instantly judged superior to a data storage method which has proved the most successful for several decades. Hasn't the U.S. government learned anything from the millions its wasted on I.T. projects? New computer system projects always sound good at the start, it's 5 years and many millions of dollars down the

        • by ultranova (717540)

          No where in the article can I see anything which prevents the wiki system from failing miserably any less than a database system, it'll just be slightly less organised (and therefor useful) if it does actually work.

          Wiki is a database, you insensitive clod !

          More specifically a Wiki is a database frontend which makes data entry and editing easy, provides automatic versioning, and allows links between articles to make it easy to check related data. As such, it is not "less organised" than any other datab

          • by malsdavis (542216)
            A Wiki is not a database in any way shape or form! A Wiki might make use of a database but it doesn't have to, it might just be a collection of text files. Same goes for all the version control tools you talk about.

            You even contradict yourself throughout your post, first you say it's a database then you say it's a database frontend (they're not the same thing you know) and finally you say a Wiki is a collection of tools that are commonly seen on existing wiki sites.

            In reality, if you look at http://en.wikip [wikipedia.org]
    • by ms1234 (211056)
      The key here I guess is the contract and the opportunity for someone to make big $$$ (or £££ in this case). Do they have to deliver? Not necessarily, just present something half-assed after x years and it will be written off as a loss.
    • both of them dropping the ball and wasting millions of taxpayer dollars/pounds

      I think you're misnunderstanding the root goal of large, lucrative government contracts. Even when these programs fall through, millions (most likely billions) of pounds/dollars have already changed hands. The companies exist to make money, and they lobby the government towards that end--the goal is the money, not the final product. The final project is just a pretext. If Iraq for example falls through and we pull out ent

  • oblig. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I, for one, welcome our new public servant overlords.
  • is to sell the mailing lists to raise more money for more pork projects.
  • by jamstar7 (694492)
    OK, so they'll organise it just like in 'Brazil', then charge you for collecting your data?
  • C'mon (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:51PM (#17608828)
    Don't you want to be Secure Beneath the Watchful Eyes [samizdata.net] in the UK? What is the problem?
  • Scale & Risk (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Henry 2.0 (1017212) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:54PM (#17608860)

    It seems perverse that anyone would consider this a remotely reasonable plan.

    The article doesn't look at the technical side of doing this at all, but its pretty obvious that todo what they are talking about doing here, it means restructuring the data for hundreds if not thousands of applications that are in use now.

    Why is the UK government so gung-ho on these 'MegaIT Projects'?

    Lets hope this dosen't get traction, but as with most things 'New Labour', I can only imagine this is signed and sealed now that the public are being made aware

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by alshithead (981606) *
      "Lets hope this dosen't get traction, but as with most things 'New Labour', I can only imagine this is signed and sealed now that the public are being made aware"

      Is "dosen't" a UK spelling I'm not familiar with? :)
    • Point of curiosity. What makes you think there are "hundreds if not thousands" of applications? Are you speaking to each and every database or the number of diverse applications accessing the individual databases? Data is data and most major database apps have tools for importing data or you write scripts to import it.
      • by Kris_J (10111) *

        Data is data and most major database apps have tools for importing data or you write scripts to import it.

        Do you have any idea how time consuming it is to replicate the functionality of one database in another? I can easily make some tables and add any structured data to any database, but if you want people to still be able to interact with it in the same way they used to (or a better way), it's typically a project that takes roughly as long as it took to get the original database to the state it's alrea

    • by Spikeles (972972)

      It seems perverse that anyone would consider this a remotely reasonable plan.

      I dunno, you seem to kind of biased. At the moment if i move i have to update all the different agencies. Banks, Telcoms, Electricity, Tax offices, Immigration(if needed), Government support ( pensions etc ), voting enrolment.

      Now imagine they are all linked and i phone a single number and POOF. All changed at once. I no longer need to remember this. That's just one example. Sure there are disadvantages, like if the database is

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by mrogers (85392)

        At the moment if i move i have to update all the different agencies. Banks, Telcoms, Electricity, Tax offices, Immigration(if needed), Government support ( pensions etc ), voting enrolment. Now imagine they are all linked and i phone a single number and POOF. All changed at once.

        No problem - just send me your bank account details, social security number, name, address, phone number and date of birth and I'll take care of everything. I won't even charge you for the service.

        See, it's true - privatising go

      • by CmdrGravy (645153)
        I definitely don't want Government departments knowing anything about my banks, telecoms, or utilities etc and absolutely definitely don't want them to have direct access to any data associated with my private life.

        Luckily they aren't suggesting this right now, just that all Government departments should access any data that one of them has stored on me.

        Personally I think in theory it's a good idea but in practice its a horrible idea since each department will find and increasing number of reasons to interf
      • Now imagine they are all linked and i phone a single number and POOF.

        So this would be like the bank that I moved to, which offered to transfer all my direct debits, salary payments etc. from my old bank account to the new one automatically? The one where they made such a mess of a simple process that after several weeks of grief, I went into my local branch, demanded to see the manager, and sat there while he phoned head office and asked them to stop, please? I then contacted all the organisations invol

    • Re:Scale & Risk (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:12AM (#17611440) Journal
      No. Blair's government uses a 'dutch auction' style of legislation to pass odious stuff.

      What they do is propose something outrageously distateful, which gets parliament in uproar - while all the time they only planned something merely somewhat distateful. Parliament gets uppity, votes on it, and gets the legislation watered down to the 'somewhat distasteful' level, thinking they've won a victory. Basically, the government proposes the most draconian legislation possible and lets parliament scale it back to something they will accept, which is probably much more draconian than if they had just tried to pass what they wanted to pass in the first place.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Yes, they've done this repeatedly, most obviously with things like detention without trial, where the 90 days originally requested were scaled back to "only" several times the historical limit and the limit used in pretty much every other first world nation.

        It's really odd how this works. It's as if everyone is so used to the government (with its unjustified absolute majority in Parliament) forcing through any legislation they want, no matter how unpopular, that the people making the decisions now conside

  • organise! (Score:3, Informative)

    by anadem (143644) <anademNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:58PM (#17608882)
    This is where the UK needs a "Move On" to organise citizen opposition. Britons should stop thinking of themselves as "subjects".
    • by Servaas (1050156)
      Sounds like a lot of work to keep that organized, a database could come in handy.
    • Re:organise! (Score:4, Informative)

      by l-ascorbic (200822) on Monday January 15, 2007 @04:56AM (#17611062)
      There is No2ID [no2id.net] which organises resistance to such things, including defence funds for people who refuse to register for ID cards and the National Identity Database. They have been quite successful. The public opposition to the ID Database has increased massively over the past year, which is probably why the govt is doing this. By integrating existing databases, they needn't rely on anyone registering.
    • >Britons should stop thinking of themselves as "subjects".
      Clue for Americans here, we don't revere the Queen as much as you think we do and we def. don't think of ourselves as subjects. We also do not live in quaint country cottages, say 'What ho!' a lot, have 'pea-souper' fog in London anymore or doff our caps every time a horse & carriage goes (rarely) by.
    • Britons should stop thinking of themselves as "subjects".

      We don't. Whatever made you think we do?

      Remember, most of us didn't even vote for the current administration, and it's only an electoral system so unrepresentative it makes the US collegiate system look unbiased that has allowed Blair and his cronies to remain in power for so long. Reform is long overdue, and this sort of rubbish (combined with unpopular subjects like Iraq, of course) may even be enough of a catalyst to force any party wanting t

    • by rjshields (719665)
      "This is where the UK needs a "Move On" to organise citizen opposition. Britons should stop thinking of themselves as "subjects"." You should get a Fucking Clue (tm) about the UK beyond your crappy stereotypes. And stop being a stupid fat bastard. Thanks.
    • Given the amount of what I call "low impact xenophobia" in the UK, the government will force this first into foreigners, who nobody cares in this country about, the sociopaths in the Labour party know foreigners are an easy target to try this and any other of their great social inventions.

      Once we 2nd class humans in this country are "registered" they can iron out all the details about how they will make this "work" for the indigenous population (people with half a clue knows this is just a waste of money,
  • Memory Hole (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:13PM (#17609020)
    The good thing is, the entire system will fulfill all the requirements of Orwell's "memory hole."
    The bad thing is, the entire system will fulfill all the requirements of Orwell's "memory hole."

    Are all these IT Projects and police cameras actually a secret plot to harness George Orwell's spinning body as the primary power source for the U.K?

    I lived in the U.K as a teen and always wanted return later. Now, the thought of returning gives me the creeps.

    Winston would be so proud.

    Vive la George!
    • by AGMW (594303)
      Are all these IT Projects and police cameras ...

      Don't forget the whole road pricing fiasco, coming to roads near you real soon! The Gov. and legislated to allow Transport for London to charge tolls on major trunk routes around London, but only if they use technologies compatible with the envisaged UK-wide road pricing system - this is a heads up people, it is coming.

      Know what this means? GPS transponders, or the like, in your car so the system can tell where you are, and when, and charge you accordingly

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:20PM (#17609064)
    Up here in space, I'm looking down on you,
    My lasers trace, everything you do,
    You think you've private lives, think nothing of the kind
    There is no true escape, I'm watching all the time!

    CHORUS:
    I'm made of metal, my circuits gleam
    I am perpetual, I keep the country clean.
    I'm elected, electric spy,
    I'm protected, electric eye.

    Always in focus, you can't feel my stare,
    I zoom into you, you dont know I'm there.
    I take a pride in probing, all your secret moves,
    My tearless retina takes, pictures that can prove.

    Electric eye (in the sky)
    Feel my stare (always there)
    There's nothing you can do about it, develop and expose,
    I feed upon your every thought, and so my power grows!

    I'm made of metal, my circuits gleam
    I am perpetual, I keep the country clean.
    I'm elected, electric spy,
    I'm protected, electric eye.
    I'm Elected - Protected - Detective - Electric - Eye.

    - Judas Priest, Electric Eye, 1982.

    25 years ago, this was cheesy hair-metal dystopic science fiction.

    Sucks to be us.

    • by cliffski (65094)
      Yeah but on the plus side, we could have judas priest do our new national anthem.
      Oh yes...
  • by RichPowers (998637) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:21PM (#17609076)
    The UK already has a history of over budget information-sharing projects. In related news, the FBI also wasted $100 million on the fiasco that is the Virtual Case File database. If intel agencies are really interested in sharing data, maybe they should follow the CIA's example of using secure Wikis?

    In any event, I agree with the other commentators that this is a pork project more than anything.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:27PM (#17609118) Journal
    FTFA: "Sharing information in this way is currently prohibited by the 'over-zealous' data protection legislation."

    The use of the phrase over-zealous .. legislation is interesting. I think that many if not most of the citizens or subjects would consider any legislation that permits such information sharing to be over-zealous.

    My doctor doesn't need to know what my taxes were, nor does the tax man need to know what speeding tickets I've had. The only probable useful use of this information sharing by the government is to track people of covertly wrong reasons.

    I'm pretty certain that the MI5 doesn't need to know how many people reported to the doctor for STD treatments, so what they are tracking is information that they shouldn't be collecting anyway. In spite of the surprisingly vast amount of information about private citizens that is available on the Internet, collating all government owned information about citizens will provide nothing useful in the war on terror or the war against drugs.

    In case nobody was paying attention, the attacks in NYC and London were perpetuated by people that either already should have set off security bells, or by people who would not set off security alerts anyway. Creating this type of spying system will not deter terrorists, criminals, or any other group they might claim to be fighting.

    Like gun control, if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have them, and if you outlaw privacy, only outlaws will have it.

    Its time that governments, especially elected ones, start learning that you don't force peace, but encourage it, protect it and these can only be done WITH the cooperation of citizens, not in spite of their rights or through sacrificing their rights for them.

    Sure, they can read and record this and it still won't help them find any subversives. In fact, they will have only wasted money tracking my statements instead of focusing on using currently implemented laws and methods of upholding those laws.

    I'm not against sharing data, but when it can be tracked back to individuals it necessarily becomes a kind of evil. Knowing the eating habits of all 37 year old men who have had minor heart attacks can be a very useful set of data, But also knowing their names and addresses, voting records, tax numbers, and what type of car they drive is not necessary to the usefulness of the information.

    If this has been announced, rest assured that the implementation phase is already underway.

    As has been said, now is the time to make this an election issue. I'm pretty sure that those present at the signing of the Magna Carta would not approve of this. Hmmmmmm
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BasilBrush (643681)
      My doctor doesn't need to know what my taxes were, nor does the tax man need to know what speeding tickets I've had. The only probable useful use of this information sharing by the government is to track people of covertly wrong reasons.

      No, but all the government departments do need to know your address, and whether you are still alive or not. That seems like a use. Tell one government department about a move or a death, and they all know.

      Just because there is a common database doesn't mean that the docto
      • by jimicus (737525) on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:04AM (#17611098)
        It's not an obviously silly objection.

        We already have an equivalent of the US social security number - the National Insurance number. Your doctor has it, the taxman has it, the benefits office have it. Why can't they just tie that up with an address? That way everyone knows about a change of address, but the taxman still doesn't have to know about that nasty rash you had last year.
      • by Alioth (221270)
        The main negatives are the insane complexity of the system, coupled with the vast masses of data. With an all-embracing system like this, there are so many many-to-many relationships and corner cases (which all have to be treated as a 'first class' part of the system, if it is to function at all) that it rapidly degenerates into a nightmare.
      • Any conceivable implementation would only give access to relevant information for each type of user.

        You don't think the government can conceive of a system that shares data more widely than is strictly necessary to achieve legitimate goals? What's the weather like on your planet, I'd like to emigrate? :-)

      • by mykdavies (1369)

        No, but all the government departments do need to know your address, and whether you are still alive or not.

        I'd be interested to see why all of the following want my address:

        • Cabinet Office
        • Department for Culture, Media and Sport
        • Department for Education and Skills
        • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
        • Department for International Development
        • Department of Trade and Industry
        • Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
        • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
        • Home Office
        • Department for Constitut
    • "I'm pretty sure that those present at the signing of the Magna Carta would not approve of this."

      Good grief man, the first parliment was composed of money lenders that collectively were more powerfull than the royalty of the day, if they could understand this system they would love it!

      "Like gun control, if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have them"

      I live in Australia, when I was a kid in the 60's there were plenty idiots/outlaws with guns posing as ordinary people, nowadays they are virtually ex
    • by smoker2 (750216)

      I'm pretty sure that those present at the signing of the Magna Carta would not approve of this.

      You do realise that the Magna Carta was an agreement between the King and the most powerful noblemen of the time (later to become organised as Parliament). The only real benefit for the ordinary person was the "right" to have a fair trial.

      Britain doesn't have a written constitution, so if the government of the day can get something past Parliament, then that's that. What really bugs me is that the Labour Party we

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:35PM (#17609174) Homepage
    I like how that implies that they're not yet already there. Denial is aparrently the Thames now, not a river in Egypt.
  • One nice, big, fat, juicy target. It'll be nice not to have to break into all these different, incompatable databases all the time. Yep, should save a lot of work for the crooks when they're stealing laptops. Now they'll need only one. Very convenient indeed.
    • The sad thing is that, going by past records, it will probably take a disaster striking the politicians personally for them to realise what a bad idea it is for government to maintain any more data or allow any more access to that data than is absolutely necessary. When MPs and senior civil servants start suffering the problems of identity theft, or losing their jobs/careers/liberty over erroneous (or outright maliciously fabricated) information in the database, maybe they'll get it. Sadly, by then it will

  • And will there be mutton dressed up as lamb?
  • I'm a UK citizen and resident. In my experience government departments don't talk to each other and it does lead to problems for everyday people, this would be a valid way of working towards solving that problem. I'm sure our glorious leaders are aware of the benefits it will give them in controlling the population, and I expect they think it's a good idea. IMHO the bureaucracy has become so complex and unwieldy that even it's professional administrators can't keep up.

    Of course this is a UK government IT

    • by MrMickS (568778)
      I would rather that instead of playing fast and loose with our money that they looked at slimming down the bureaucracy that rules our lives first. If they managed to do that then, and only then, would I think about letting them rationalise their data storage.
  • by Flying pig (925874) on Monday January 15, 2007 @04:34AM (#17610942)
    What seems constantly to be missed is that in many ways Blair is the most technologically illiterate Prime Minister we have had in a long time. From Churchill (who is said to have minuted after a visit to Bletchley Park "Give them everything they want and report that this has been done" because of his immediate grasp of the strategic implications of codebreaking) it's a sad story of decline. We now have a Prime Minister whose wife has to write emails for him, who endlessly talks about science and technbology, but shows not the slightest sign of understanding any of it. He is surrounded by unelected journalists with a similar grasp. He is so ignorant of science that he sees no problem in allowing Creationists to buy State schools. He is the despair of military strategists because of his total lack of understanding of the limitations of men and materiel and his assumption that the British Army can just be moved around like chess pieces. And his utter control freakery means that anybody with better knowledge or ideas is held back or ignored, hence the Cabinet resignations, while incompentents who share his religious view of the world - like Ruth Kelly - get promoted.

    In all the arguments about Bush, there have been repreated suggestions that Blair is more intelligent than Bush. I do not think this is so at all. He has superior verbal fluency (he is a barrister, i.e. a talking lawyer.) But all the signs are that in understanding of the modern world, strategic grasp and understanding of the structure of, and problems of, society, he is every bit as blinkered and limited as Bush.

    I'm sorry about this rant, but thank you for reading it. Meanwhile, if you _do_ share the misfortune of being English, please do something. Write to your MP. He will probably be a technical illiterate too, so try and spell it out very plainly without using jargon. Gathering all information about citizens into a big central repository accessed by many different groups - police, NHS, Civil Servants - is a recipe for disaster in a country where newspapers buy and sell informants every day. A country that cannot prevent newspapers from illegally tapping telephones, cannot prevent criminals, Ruper Murdoch and Lord Rothermere from gaining illegal access to such a huge centralised database. Until the Government can somehow fix the abuses of the Press and the opportunities for blackmail, they should never consider such a database.

    • I'm sorry about this rant, but thank you for reading it.

      Yes, well you know Tony would probably consider your 'rant' to be antisocial behavior and arrange for an ASBO to be placed on you to the effect that should you raise your right hand above your waist in a public area you will go to jail without further trial.

      Remember, criticising the government is antisocial behavior. I mean you can't get much more antisocial than attacking the government, now can you?
      • Remember, criticising the government is antisocial behavior. I mean you can't get much more antisocial than attacking the government, now can you?

        Given that one of the few places in the UK where it is explicitly illegal to protest is right outside the Houses of Parliament, it seems you're right. :-(

    • Oh and your sig:

      Why are graphics cards so designed that the heatsink is on the underside when installed in tower cases?

      I've thought about that too, the only thing I can come up with is that it prevents dust from settling on them.

      Yeah this is offtopic and is a mere meta-comment. :)
    • Mod parent "double-plus good" (or is it written ++good?).

      Orwell failed to mention the bit about off-shoring the data to the cheapest call centre in Bangalore.

      • by jimicus (737525)
        Only because computers and telephony as we know them now didn't exist at the time, so instead he pictured a whole army of people employed by the government to go through the information.
    • by arkhan_jg (618674)
      For what it's worth, I did write to my MP explaining my opposition to ID cards. I've since moved, so maybe I'll get more traction this time round (pretty much the same objections as last time) with my new MP. The tabloid newspaper angle is an interesting one which I'll use to support the 'who do you trust to access so much data?' argument, thanks.

      As far as the heaksink sig goes, it's historical. The ATX design means there's not guaranteed clearance on the 'back' side for any kind of heatsink; my motherboard
    • Write to your MP. He will probably be a technical illiterate too, so try and spell it out very plainly without using jargon.

      I'm lucky - my local MP replies to every letter/fax/email, sends out monthly email 'blogs' of what he's been doing/involved with, has sensible ideas about most things and manages a good grasp of the real issues. He's very active with local issues, actually turns up at meetings, voices his views, goes away, reports back and all that good stuff. He's even able to say 'I was wrong, here'

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Brother_(Yes_Mini ster) [wikipedia.org]

    "the new National Integrated Database: the detailed personal records of every UK citizen, which will be held on computer by the government"
    • by Alioth (221270)
      It's funny, with all the news at the moment, I can't help thinking of that particular episode of Yes Minister.
  • Cost of Information (Score:5, Interesting)

    by herwin (169154) <herwin@th e w o r ld.com> on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:36AM (#17611260) Homepage Journal
    When I was working on similar systems in America, we estimated (in our internal risk analyses) that information in a local police database accessible to the average user could be acquired by unauthorised outside users for about $1000. The corresponding figure for a national police agency database was about $10,000. If the information was more valuable than that, additional safeguards were needed. The UK Government proposal is basically flying in the face of that.

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