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I've just been reading the Consultation Document on the Bloody ID Cards Bill, which has just been issued by everybody's favourite politician, David Blunkett. I won't say that the Bill is bonkers, but I wouldn't be surprised if others were to do so. Like the European Constitution, it is also enormous (37 pages of near-impenetrable legalese), and I haven't time to write anything detailed on it now.
However, I was particularly struck by clause 31 subsection 2 of the draft Bill, which adds to the penalties provided in the Computer Misuse Act (1990) for the offence of unauthorised modification of computer material:
(8) Where an offence under this section [that is, unauthorised modification] is committed wholly or partly in relation to any contents of a computer that consist of the National Identity Register or any part of it, [that is, the ID cards database] subsection (7)(b) above shall have effect as if for `five years' [of imprisonment] there were substituted `ten years'.
So, what's that all about? The Computer Misuse Act does not in general distinguish between the particular computers an offender might hack in to; this special case for the National Identity Register is a total novelty. Why would the penalties in respect of one particular computer be double those for others? And why not apply longer sentences to criminals who hack into other important computers, for instance those which run the stock market, National Air Traffic Control System, or Britain's nuclear weapons or whatever? After all, it would be very bad news if those computers were to be compromised -- arguably worse news than if the compromise affected the Register, depending on whether you were standing underneath the crashing stock market or aeroplane or falling ICBM or whatever other mayhem such a hacker might unleash.
Presumably the idea is that the Government already know that they can't make the Register secure, and therefore they are trying to discourage people from hacking in to it by making the penalty for doing so much greater than for any other act of hacking. This is a nice idea, I suppose, if you think that computer hackers are likely to respond to the increased penalty by changing their behaviour. In fact, prosecutions under the Computer Misuse Act are vanishingly rare and it would be astonishing if the increased penalty conferred any protection on the database.
The proper solution, of course, would be to make the thing secure. But -- oh no! -- they can't, because they haven't a fucking clue what they're doing. As an alternative, they could just not waste our money on the bloody thing. But -- oh no! -- Blunkett is obsessed with it. And this time he intends to ram it through before the General Election so that -- even though none of the other parties support it -- we won't get a chance to vote on it.
(As an aside, it's worth remarking that the recent poll on ID cards was run by MORI, who also happen to be running the trial identity cards scheme. But don't worry: conflicts of interest only apply to politicians and the government.)
Update: according to this BBC piece, the Conservatives now support the ID card programme:
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said the Tories backed the idea of ID cards but said safeguards had to be put in place to prevent the misuse of personal information.
-- which is sad.
Just a brief note: the poll reported in the Times and elsewhere on ID cards was conducted for IT consultancy Detica; they have carefully prepared pro and anti press releases about the results from the poll.
So the take home message is that people believe that the card will be useful, but they are concerned about the ability of the government to introduce it without making a tremendous balls-up of it. This is sad -- since it tells us that people have accepted the fiction about the efficacy of the card -- but it shows that the policy has serious weak points; in particular, people really don't want to pay for the thing. Cost is clearly the thing to emphasise here.
Update: `Spy Blog' has a better analysis (in my defence I'll say that I jotted down the above just as I was rushing out of the door this morning) which links to the in-depth results from the poll which are themselves worth a look.
Readers may remember a previous rant on the subject of electronic voting. To refresh your memories (that is, to bore you again with details of a subject in which you may not be interested anyway) the flaw of most electronic voting systems is that the voter cannot be sure that their vote has been cast as they intended; it would be trivial to program an electronic voting machine to (say) record a vote for Dubya when the user clicks on `Gore', and there is no way for the voter to tell that this is what is going on. (This risk will be familiar to anyone who has used Microsoft `Word' and saved a document, only to load it up later and discover that half their work has been eaten by the machine.) The solution to this problem is simple but low-tech: the machine prints out a ballot paper, which the voter can inspect; if it has accurately recorded their vote, they place it in the ballot box; if not, they destroy the paper and have another go. If something goes wrong with the electronic count, the ballot boxes can be opened up and the votes counted in the normal way.
If -- as seems sensible, though others may disagree -- the accuracy of the electoral process is of paramount importance, this observation has two important consequences. Firstly, electronic voting can only be used to speed up counting votes; it can never replace the keeping of paper records. Secondly, electronic voting will still require the presence of voters at polling stations, or the use of postal voting forms. The fantasy of a population voting via interactive TV, SMS messages, email or whatever else must remain a fantasy so long as we are interested in maintaining honest and accurate elections.
Therefore it was with some alarm that I read the draft recommendation on standards for electronic voting which has been produced by the Council of Europe's e-voting project. (Thanks to John Pelan for drawing this to my attention.)
It is worth looking through the draft (it is not very long). In some ways it is an encouraging document; it addresses throughout the security and reliability issues to which electronic voting is susceptible. However, the Recommendation falls short of requiring paper `voter-verifiable receipts' (or, in English, ballot papers) to form part of the system, and the working group have assumed that electronic voting systems should permit remote voting:
(4) Unless channels of remote e-voting are universally accessible, they should be only an additional and optional means of voting.
(24) The components of the e-voting system should be disclosed, at least to the competent electoral authorities, as required for verification and accreditation purposes.
While a voting system cannot meet the accuracy requirement simply by being open to inspection, peer review of the system is the only obvious way to inspire confidence in the system -- which itself is requirement 20 in the Recommendations....
(6) Unique identification should be ensured for voters and candidates. User authentication should be identity-based for the voter or candidates.
I'm not sure what `unique identification' and `identity-based' mean, but I hope to god it's not bloody ID cards again.
The e-voting system must not enable the voter to be in possession of a proof of the content of the vote cast.
Now, paper voting systems do not allow this, since the proof that you have voted -- the ballot paper -- must be put in the ballot box for your vote to count. Indeed, if you still have your ballot paper, what you have proven is that you have not voted.
(As an aside, there have been some stories of mobile phone cameras being used to document how voters have cast their votes in elections in Italy, though how seriously this should be taken I don't know, and obviously a photograph of a ballot paper does not constitute proof of a vote in any meaningful sense. The BBC story I link to there says that the Italian authorities ``have announced measures to prevent 3G phones being used in polling stations''; alternatively they could just provide each voter with two ballot papers; the first could be used to record the vote desired by the Mafia, photographed and then destroyed, while the second could be used for the actual vote....)
Ensuring that voters do not leave the polling station with proof of their votes is sometimes used as an argument against voter-verifiable receipts, on the grounds that the receipt (ballot paper) could constitute such proof. This shows a fundamental misunderstanding. In a securely-designed system, if the voter has removed the receipt, then they have not voted, just as in a paper system.
Now, recommendations from the Council of Europe are not binding on its members, but it is quite likely that the eventual product of their electronic voting activities will be adopted by member states (or form the basis for their own standards). It is therefore worrying that the Recommendations do not include the requirement for paper records which is necessary to make electronic voting systems safe.
It is not clear how we should raise these concerns; there does not seem to be a public consultation procedure relating to the Council of Europe's project. However, the participants in the working group include a number of civil servants from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister; it therefore seems sensible to start by writing to John Prescott.
(Update: I should have linked to this piece in Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram:
In 2002, all the Congressional candidates together raised over $500M. As a result, one can conservatively conclude that affecting the balance of power in the House of Representatives is worth at least $100M to the party who would otherwise be losing. So when designing the security behind the software, one must assume an attacker with a $100M budget.
So, we are to have a referendum on the EU Constitution. This is, I think, a good moment to inflict on my half-dozen readers my views on this seminal document.
For those who haven't looked at the thing, it's about 70,000 words long (approximately twice the length of Animal Farm, and ten times the length of the United States constitution, to pick two random examples); on A4 paper, it weighs in at 265 pages, though that is only achieved by halving the line spacing after the first 46 pages. It contains such gems of the writer's art as,
The Member States shall facilitate the achievement of the Union's tasks and refrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the objectives set out in the Constitution.
Rights recognised by this Charter for which provision is made in other Parts of the Constitution shall be exercised under the conditions and within the limits defined by these relevant Parts. Insofar as this Charter contains rights which correspond to rights guaranteed by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the meaning and scope of those rights shall be the same as those laid down by the said Convention.
The Council of Ministers, on a proposal from the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs or the Commission, shall adopt a European decision suspending application of an agreement and establishing the positions to be adopted on the Union's behalf in a body set up by an agreement, when that body is called upon to adopt acts having legal effects, with the exception of acts supplementing or amending the institutional framework of the agreement.
In the Nuts (unground), other than ground nuts Order, the expression nuts shall have reference to such nuts, other than ground nuts, as would but for this amending Order not qualify as nuts (unground) (other than ground nuts) by reason of their being nuts (unground).
1. (1) Any person who knowingly causes a nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.
(As an aside, the passing of the Nuclear Explosions (Prohibition and Inspections) Act 1998, from which that last example is drawn, occasioned one of the best letters to the Times I can remember reading; it ran -- paraphrasing, as their archive is not on the web -- ``Am I seriously to understand that, had I caused a nuclear explosion prior to the passing of this Act, I would not have been breaking the law?'' This comes in just behind another relating to the innovation of `numeracy hours' in primary schools, which prompted a correspondent to inquire, ``My son's school has now instituted a Numeracy Hour which, according to the timetable, is to last 45 minutes. Is all hope now lost?'' -- to which the answer is, I think, `yes'. I can't bear to read the Times any more, but perhaps I should relax this rule in relation to the letters page....)
Now, the European Union has in its fifty-odd-year history been immensely successful and effective at fulfilling its basic purpose -- which is, roughly, to stop the French and the Germans from having another war. On this basis it gets my unqualified support. All the other stuff -- the legions of officials and attendant legions of enriching scams, the subsidies to agriculture, the inflexible monetary policy and the World's Biggest Constitution -- is just icing on the cake.
The European Union is also, of course, turning the European Union into a free-trade area (well, if you ignore the subsidies, anyway), which is a jolly good idea and probably helps it to implement its first aim -- though it's not really clear why all the apparatus of the Commission, Parliament and so forth is necessary for this. (As an aside, I would love somebody to explain to me why uniformity of regulation is necessary for free trade. Modern trade policy seems to assume that this is true, but nobody explains why; it's not at all obvious to me why, for instance, Australia needs to incorporate bonkers American IP policy into its local laws in order for there to be free trade between Australia and the United States.)
Anyway, if someone can convince me that an incomprehensible 70,000-word Constitution is necessary to keep Europe at peace and prosperous, I'll vote for the bloody thing. Otherwise, I'm against it until they can cut it down to a reasonable length. Two sides of A4 would be about right.
Update: Michael Howard has done a silly thing: he has pledged that, if the result of the referendum is a `no' vote, the Conservative Party will never sign up to any European Constitution. This means that people like me who think that this Constitution is bloody awful, but that a future attempt at a European Constitution (or Constitutional Treaty or whatever) could be an improvement over the status quo, might be discouraged from voting `no' in the upcoming referendum. Now, my view is very likely a minority one, but is Howard really saying that the Conservatives would oppose a hypothetical future treaty which restricted the power of the center and restored authority to the member states of the EU, simply because it would establish a new Constitution for the Union?
(Note that these rules are not in fact unambiguous, since we are not told whether the fifth sentence is the fifth complete sentence, or the fifth sentence including any partial sentence with which the page begins. I'm assuming that it means `the fifth sentence beginning after the top of page 23', which also helps us with the case -- much remarked upon elsewhere -- where page 23 contains one or fewer sentences.)
In 1847 the government tried and failed to stop The Times publishing correspondence between Lord Castlereagh and representatives of Imperial Russia on the Polish Question at the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
A good Bruce Schneier piece on ID cards; and, to compensate, another holiday photo:
In 1938 the Gestapo were presented with a glittering prize. The Anschluss- the unity of hitherto democratic Austria and Nazi Germany - put them in charge of the Vienna headquarters of the ICPC, the forerunner to Interpol. Thus, they had access to thousands of files on convicted or suspected criminals and their associates. Since many of the files on suspects dealt with politically-motivated crime, they were a godsend to an organisation that was about to take over most of Europe. ICPC knowledge helped them compile arrest lists. Even more useful for repression, deportation and terror were the captured police files of the conquered governments.
Why is this historical fact important? Because its a warning about the dangers that lurk in the scheme now being proposed by the government to create a national database and an ID card system. This might solve some crimes: it will certainly hand a weapon to any future ill-intentioned regime. Rather than being a move to increase safety and get rid of risk, it is a huge gamble. To adopt it would be to bet that nothing as nasty as Nazism will ever get close to state power again. Its also to bet that nothing as nasty as Al Quaida or pIRA never gets its hands on a copy of the database. Forever is a long time....
Read the whole thing -- and do pass it on.
To tidy up a loose end, I'll describe the response I got a few weeks ago after I complained to the Information Commissioner about spam from a UK company.
About three weeks after sending my complaint, I received an email reply from the Information Commissioner asking me for permission to give the spammers, UK Software House, my email address so that they could remove it from their mailing list. So I consented:
Thank you for your email of 24th February requesting permission to pass on my email address to the spammers, UK Software House. Obviously I am not happy about this, but as you say it is necessary for further processing of my complaint, I hereby consent to you passing on that information to the spammers.
I have written to UK Software House requesting them to suppress your email address. I would expect this to take a maximum of 28 days and should you receive any further emails from them I would be grateful if you could let me know. I have also reminded the company of their obligations under the Privacy and Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
So, another small victory for bureaucracy and legalism. I'm very unlikely to see any other emails from UK Software House, since my spam filter will now have learned that anything they send is to be dropped on the floor, so the chances of the Information Commissioner getting a chance to visit their boundless wrath on the talentless spamming wankers are pretty small. And, sad to say, the Information Commissioner felt it necessary to remind me that,
You should be aware that a breach of the Regulations does not constitute a criminal offence and complaints will be dealt with on an individual basis. The Information Commissioner aims to ensure that organisations comply with the Regulations by providing advice and guidance on their responsibilities Further action will only be taken against organisations who persistently fail to meet their obligations under the Regulations.
I'm not sure what the `further action' would take, but I'm rather afraid that it's likely to consist of providing further advice and guidance, rather than, for instance, a sharply-delivered kick up the backside followed by confiscation of assets and exile to Daily Mail Island. Oh well.
(Note that I'm not going to link to the UK Software House site -- you can probably figure out its URL -- because I have no interest in driving traffic to them. But if you get any spam from them -- it's likely to be advertising a product for, err, sending EVEN MORE SPAM -- please do send off a copy of the over-long complaint form. Hopefully enough complaints will result in some real boundless wrath being visited upon them.)
More ID cards idiocy. Now we are apparently to get a compulsory card scheme by 2008; this is apparently inspired by warnings from the security services: (reported in a story in the Independent and elsewhere)
Ministers were told that in several recent arrests, police found people with papers giving them multiple identities, and the politicians stressed the importance of making sure the ID cards could not be forged.
The proponents of the scheme counter the second of these with the fiction that biometric information can be used to ensure that only one card is issued to each person. This won't work, because the false positive rates for identification by biometrics are too large.
Suppose that the comparison of (say) iris photographs is 99.99% accurate: that is, when you compare my iris photograph against my reference photograph, the system identifies me correctly in 9,999 out of 10,000 cases, and says it's not me one time in 10,000. Similarly, when you compare my iris photograph against someone else's, 9,999 times out of 10,000, it says it's not me, and one time out of 10,000 it says it is me.
Now suppose that I go down to ID Cards 'R' Us (proprietor: Capita plc., most likely) to get an ID card. My iris is photographed, and to ensure that I'm not a Bad Evil Terrorist, my iris photograph is compared against the reference photographs for everyone else in the database (about 40,000,000 people). Even with a 0.01% error rate, the system will come up with 4,000 matches to me -- that's 4,000 people who have to be individually checked to make sure that they're not actually false identities that belong to me.
Now, according to this report on an iris recognition system tested by the US Department of Defence, the false accept error rate for a typical current system is claimed to be one in a million by its manufacturer, but in practice is probably more like one in 90,000. That gets us down to about 444 people who have to be checked as potential false matches for each ID card issued. If we believe the manufacturer, then it's 40. If you believe that we can afford to investigate in detail the backgrounds of 40 people for each new ID card issued -- which is what will be necessary to ensure that you issue exactly one ID card to each person in the population -- then you're more of an optimist than me. (Optimistically, we can cut out half those matches as being of the wrong gender, and maybe another half as being too different in age to be the same person. But that's still ten people who need to be checked. Doing this properly would be insanely expensive.)
Of course, in reality what will happen is that Crapita (or whatever other contractor puts in the cheapest bid for the system) will hand the sodding things out to all and sundry with no proper checks at all. Sir John Stevens, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, yesterday said on TV that,
I think the sooner [ID cards are] brought in the better and as a professional police officer I have to tell you we need them.
If his attitude is typical of the Police (other evidence suggests that many officers are better informed) we're in real trouble, since the result will be that the authorities trust that the ID card system will have its advertised effect -- of making it impossible to adopt a false identity -- while in fact leaving it as easy to create false identities as it ever was, and to have them legitimised by a shiny piece of plastic too.
New rule: every time I write a long rant about ID cards, I'll also post another holiday photo for those readers who find ID cards boring (that's probably all six of you, I fear). However, this one is a bit bleak:
Here is a picture of a building site. Like many building sites, this one has been annotated by its architect with a billboard showing an artist's impression of the completed building. Unlike many other building sites, the building work at this one is more-or-less finished:
(This picture was taken a few weeks ago.) The right-hand picture in the above is a blown up view of the artist's impression on the architect's billboard; apologies for the lousy quality of the photo. Note how the artist's impression is a fair rendering of the new building. The artist can be forgiven for not showing the builders' skip in their picture; instead, they have included an attractive tree, which grew on the site before the building works began.
The building in the picture is the Goldie Boathouse; since I'd guess that -- like me -- my half-dozen readers couldn't give a toss about rowing, I probably needn't have pointed that out. The architects responsible for this surreal piece of postmodern vandalism are Cantos Bailey, ably assisted by Bluestone, a building contractor.)
So, I go away on holiday and come back to find that the Government's immigration policy is in crisis. This is welcome news, as it tells us that the Government actually have an immigration policy; so far it seemed they'd just been cribbing it from the pages of the Daily Express. And while the departure of Beverley Hughes -- who, apart from her crowing over having halved the number of refugees to whom we give sanctuary seems to have been relatively harmless -- is neither particularly happy or unhappy news, with any luck it'll turn out that Blunkett knew more than he said about the present cock-up, and he'll have to go too, perhaps taking his obsession with ID cards with him. (Update: no, as John Band points out, Hughes was also responsible for lying to Parliament over the results of the ID Cards consultation. So it's good riddance to her, frankly. To have forgotten that detail is a bit embarrassing. Oh well....)
Naturally, ID cards, the government's current policy strange attractor, have popped up again in relation to the current row. In yesterday's press conference, referring to the threat of terrorism, Tony Blair told us that,
The second point in relation to ID cards is that I think there is no longer a civil liberties objection to that in the vast majority of quarters. There is a series of logistical questions, of practical questions, those need to be resolved, but that in my judgment now, the logistics is the only time delay in it, otherwise I think it needs to move forward.
but others have picked up and run with the idea. For instance, otherwise-sensible Labour MP Clive Soley said this morning on Today that,
-- referring to the current synthetic furore over immigration policy. Shadow Home Secretary David Davis -- who rather theatrically described the various cock-ups in Romania and Bulgaria as `disasters', as if people had actually been killed or something, rather than simply a few people who would be allowed into the UK anyway getting their visas early via some creative paperwork -- stayed off the ID cards issue, but to counter him the BBC dredged up John Denham, previously a minister at the Home Office. Now, Denham resigned in protest at the war in Iraq and presumably therefore has a certain sympathy for tyranny and the apparatus of tyranny; naturally, therefore, he's a supporter of compulsory ID cards:
John Denham: Well, personally I have been a supporter of compulsory ID cards for quite a number of years, er, and I think the... to me the only obstacle now is demonstrating that we've actually got a technology that can work and be secure, because nobody wants a disaster, but I would say if... err, if we have, it would be hugely helpful in dealing with these very difficult issues.
James Naughtie: Do you think it might be... I won't say a way out for the government, but it might be something that would assist the government in trying to get across the idea that it's on top of the whole issue?
John Denham: I think it would be very popular with the public. I think it would be a mistake to think that we can... if you like, say `well, we're going to do ID cards'. When you're talking about processing of visa applications, as we've had in Romania and er, Bulgaria, the government is going to need to demonstrate that those systems are working properly, and I think they must do that and it would be a mistake to think you can answer one question with another one, however much I would welcome the introduction of ID cards.
By which he means, no, they wouldn't be helpful. And you can see why. In Romania and Bulgaria the British Embassies were issuing visas on the strength of forged documents, in exactly the same way that the Home Office will find itself issuing ID cards to people with forged documents here, if the cards are brought in. And in the Sheffield cock-up, passports were being issued to people who were entitled to them anyway, but with fewer checks than would normally be applied. Such people would, presumably, have identity cards in a Blunkett future -- with even fewer checks, since the Home Office will have to issue millions of the bloody things.
Blair also seems to think that an ID card will stop terrorism. At times, Blunkett has disagreed, but since he's prepared to say one thing to Parliament and quite another to the Today programme, I don't think we should take any of his pronouncements on what the cards are to be used for any more seriously than Denham's.
Terrorism is, of course, in the news at the moment because some alleged terrorists have been arrested following the discovery of a quantity of ammonium nitrate in a lock-up garage in London. We might want to consider how ID cards might have assisted the Police in conducting an operation such as this. To start with, it is worth noting that the alleged terrorists are all British, and therefore would be given ID cards in the Future Republic of Blunkettstan. Their ID cards would, presumably, not be marked POTENTIAL TERRORIST in big letters, and anyway most policemen are perfectly able to distinguish people with dark skin without consulting their papers. (One correspondent, remarking on my piece on crime and racism, noted that when he had worked in the City of London shortly after the erection of the `ring of steel' anti-terrorist barricades the Police manning those fortifications had chiefly been stopping and searching young black men passing back and forth. This surprised him, as he had not imagined that the British Caribbean community formed part of the IRA's natural constituency. No doubt the City of London Police felt that you could never be too careful....)
We do not know exactly how the cache of ammonium nitrate in the current case was located by the Police, but since the operation was conducted with the assistance of MI5 and the Pakistani intelligence service we can assume that it involved techniques from the Usborne Book Of Spycraft such as tapping telephones and pretending to be a terrorist in order to infiltrate an Islamist cell. You cannot demand someone's ID card when you are listening to their telephone calls -- that would give the game away -- and presumably an MI5 spy, having infiltrated such a group, would not be in a position to demand `Papiere, bitte?' without arousing the suspicions of those around him. In fact, it's hard to see how ID cards could have been at all helpful in this investigation, since all the participants would have had the card (so they couldn't be thrown out of the country for failing to present it) and anyway their names were clearly known to the authorities.
So we come back to the eternal question, which is, why on earth do Blair and Blunkett want ID cards? I remain baffled, and the latest attempt to bring them in through the back door isn't any more enlightening. And it's not just me. STAND, who do actual research on this topic, have no idea either.
(It is sometimes said that nobody's really interested in the cards, but rather in the register of population which would have to accompany them. Supposedly this is a Good Thing because it would help in the provision of public services -- though it's hard to see how, since we already have a pretty good idea of the size and circumstances of the population in different parts of the country; knowing that information down to single individuals wouldn't be of much assistance. And in practical terms, such a register would have all the same problems as the card does, especially if the ID number assigned to an individual on the register is used publicly (like social security numbers are in the United States). But if that were the case, I'd have expected the Government to start by announcing a population register, then move on to the cards later, since a population register is less obviously intrusive than the cards will be and can always be sold to Daily Mail readers on the basis that it can be used to keep tabs on nasty foreigners, paedophiles, Guardian readers and threats to house prices. Why start with the cards -- unpopular and easy to understand -- first? So while this might be the explanation, it still doesn't make much sense to me.)
|Conservative||Opposed, at the moment. See, for instance, this press release by David Davis MP; but note that Conservative policy is subject to change as opportunity demands, and previous Conservative governments have toyed with the idea of ID cards from time to time.|
|Green Party||Opposed. See, e.g., this briefing.|
|Labour||Presently in favour of bringing them in `gradually', as announced in the last Queen's Speech.|
|Liberal Democrats||Opposed. See, for instance, this press release by Mark Oaten MP condemning ID card plans as a waste of money.|
|Plaid Cymru||Opposed. See, for instance, this press release by Simon Thomas MP, condemning ID card plans as useless and a waste of money.|
|Scottish National Party||Opposed. See, for instance, this press release by Anabelle Ewing MP, condemning Blunkett's ID card plans as interfering with areas which are the prerogative of the Scottish Parliament, and this one by Roseanna Cunningham MSP pointing out that ID cards will be of no use in fighting crime or terrorism.|
-- hope this will be helpful. Thanks to Martin Lucas-Smith, who pointed out the omission of the Green Party from that list -- they count as a serious party here, since they have won some seats in the Scottish and European Parliaments, in the London Assembly and on numerous local councils.)
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