Friday, July 23, 2004

Are you normal yet?

While not, strictly speaking, directly related to Mr Blunkett per se, the philosophy behind both these stories is in precisely the same barn...

The House of Lords says that DNA is to be indefinitely stored on national database, even for "people who have not been convicted of any crime". The "Lords said they could see no reason why anyone should object to the samples being stored in a database". Right.

Secondly, it looks like a new UK Passport System will gradually fuse with ID Cards (assumedly so that you won't actually notice it happening), and that the focus is on people, rather than passports themselves as currently happens.

So there's definitely going to be no function creep, no sir. A reminder: "...registrable facts are listed in the draft Bill to set limits on the types of information which may be held on the Register and do not include sensitive personal information such as medical records or religious opinions." Although such data may be linked to, a la passports, if of course, the government sees fit to define who gets to be tracked as those of, say, possibly extreme religious viewpoints, or of a potentially dangerous medical disposition, such as...

  • an individual dedicated to criticising the government's defence plans, thus disrupting the ability to fight this week's enemy

  • an individual that suffers from a "mind-altering" illness that prevents the sufferer from acting in a rational manner. Illnesses such as... oh, I don't know... diabetes? Road rage? Alcoholism?

  • an individual that exhibits odd emergent behaviour over time, indicating a potential societal outcast/danger

  • an individual with "defective" genes that show a tendency towards violence/particular sexual behaviour/extreme views

  • an individual with a "causal" history or environment that, statistically, will lead towards violence/particular sexual behaviour/extreme views

That's just off the top of my head.

No comments: