John Reid: Raising stupidity to an art form …

I was alarmed to read that after three men were jailed for this plot to assault two young sisters, the home office announced it’s plan to get paedophiles to register their web names. Just how out of touch with reality is the home office under John Reid? Not only this totally impractical its smacks of yet another misguided knee-jerk reaction designed more to garner headlines than do anything to protect anyone.

According to a home office spokesman this idea would mean that sex offenders would have to register their online identity with the police, the notion that “online identities would be treated in exactly the same was their real name” is ridiculous given that it takes about five seconds to register a new email address, and even ip addresses can be faked – i cant see how this could be enforced and it seems to me to be a monumental waste of money.

After reading Bruce Schneier’s piece on the Psychology of Security I can’t help but feel this is a move to make people feel more secure when the reality is that they are far from it.

The wider issue of everyone having a single Internet Identity that uniquely identifies them (like a National Insurance number), is interesting. I need to give it a bit more thought before I comment on it.

One thought on “John Reid: Raising stupidity to an art form …

  1. On the national insurance number issue, a lot of public libraries, especially in deprived areas, became concerned when plans for using the NI number as an identifier for all local government services was mooted. They were particularly concerned that library users would distrust the library (the library has always been one of the most trusted areas of public services) and that usage figures would plummet as a result.

    The problem with any central identity, although the lifestyle advantages of being able to move seamlessly between services is undeniable, is that along with back system integration, it centralises the information that the state holds about you, and therefore further strengthens the hand of the state in its relationship to the individual.

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