The British government intends to pass a law saying you’ll need a passport or other ID to buy a mobile phone. Why? Because otherwise, someone somewhere might say something and the government won’t know who said it. I’m surprised Jacqui Smith and Geoff Hoon don’t want to bug every room of every house in the country (or maybe they do).
Anyway here’s what The Times says:
Everyone who buys a mobile telephone will be forced to register their identity on a national database under government plans to extend massively the powers of state surveillance.
Phone buyers would have to present a passport or other official form of identification at the point of purchase. Privacy campaigners fear it marks the latest government move to create a surveillance society.
A compulsory national register for the owners of all 72m mobile phones in Britain would be part of a much bigger database to combat terrorism and crime. Whitehall officials have raised the idea of a register containing the names and addresses of everyone who buys a phone in recent talks with Vodafone and other telephone companies, insiders say.
The move is targeted at monitoring the owners of Britain’s estimated 40m prepaid mobile phones. They can be purchased with cash by customers who do not wish to give their names, addresses or credit card details.