Passports will be needed to buy mobile phones

In a move by the UK government, passports will be required to purchase mobile phones.

Currently there are around 27 million on contract accounts and 49 million pay as you go subscribers in the UK. Under the plans everyone who buys a mobile telephone will be required to register their identity on a national database.

Privacy campaigners claim it's the latest move from the UK government to create a surveillance society. Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, said: 'The bigger the database, the greater the risk of accident, error and abuse.'

The move is targeted at the 49 million pay as you go customers. They can be purchased with cash and customers do not need to provide their name, address or credit card details.

Senior officials in the Home Office have privately warned that the database scheme is impractical, disproportionate and potentially unlawful.

Recently the UK government suspended plans to create a giant database for all phone calls, emails, text messages and web sites visited in the United Kingdom.

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The government will probably stop people from migrating from the UK soon, as too many people have left or are considering that very thing.

and, the comment a few posts up to me was not called for, if you dont live in the UK then you wouldnt know what every day brits are going through at the moment.

Its just another way to make money at the end of the day, to buy a phone you would need to cough up the cash for a passport first, not everybody has one.

Every day i hate this stinking country even more actually i couldnt hate it any less!

Awesomeness said,
Every day i hate this stinking country even more actually i couldnt hate it any less!

Couldnt hate it any LESS?
Point well made there? spacktard


Then go live somewhere else Iraq, Iran, Africa, Korea, Russia the list goes on.

Balance between freedom and protection is what make western world good safe.

In a move by the UK government, passports will be required to purchase mobile phones.

What??. The world is becomming more and more crazy and paranoid at the same time. All of this because sep 11 / jul 7 or what??

The only reason that I'm not buying my next phone on contract is because I can buy it without having to give over any information (at least I didn't last time).

Sigh, yet another freedom removed in the name of terrorism.

Did you know that you're over 3 times more likely to win the National Lottery jackpot than you are to be killed by a terrorist?

isn't it a bit late? or are they going to cut off the millions of currently unregistered phones/sims already in use. :rolleyes:

gee i love this country.

They gunna be handing out free passports tthen? I can't see people (like me) who dont have passports buying one for £50/£60 just to get a phone.

I have been mentioning this the past 4 years.

I did tell you this would happen when labour won an election in 2005.

So we already kiss goodbye to all our personal data, we can have anyone ask dvla for our personal details just from
the car registration plate and now, you have to tell them that you own a cell-phone.

Why don't you just bend over with your pants down and let them implant a suppository that is permanent in your rectum for tracking purposes, hand over your pay cheque and hope for pocket money at the end of the month and look forward to being charged �1.35 per mile in your motor vehicles.

Since when was Britain supposed to be Stalinist Russia?


Soon as I start my degree next October to train as an environmental health officer, I will look forward to finishing it in 3 years then I am off to Canada.

Britain is finished, its washed up, it's full up and it's no more than a dumping ground for strays.

Why? Where is the need for someone to be a UK citizen in order to make a purchase? Let's go all the way and demand a passport for a bar of chocolate.
Due to function creep a passport is used as a form of ID, when it is really just an official document that states you are allowed to travel (they aren't necessary for travel within the EU, however). Currently, if you don't have a passport, for whatever reason, you'd need to fork out nearly £50 just to have a mobile phone. Stupid.

Another reason it is stupid is that passports don't have addresses on them. This means there would be a "need" to tie passports with current addresses, much like driving licences have at the moment, thus enhancing the function creep even more. What's next? Passports for Oyster card purchases?

mrbester said,
(they aren't necessary for travel within the EU, however).

Actually, Britain isn't included in the Schengen(sp?) Agreement - we still need passports to travel.

"All Union citizens have the right to enter another Member State by virtue of having an identity card or valid passport."

The Schengen Agreement applies to non eu-citizens and means they can get a single visa to visit any of those countries. As a side effect this means that no-one needs any id to move about that area as border controls are only done on the edge.

For travel within the EU but outside Schengen (eg from Britain to wherever) you do need ID but you don't need a passport. You only need an actual passport to go somewhere else.

What happens when you sell your phone on ebay? I mean come on, this just isn't practical.

As for a giant uber-base of all calls, texts and websites visited... do they have any idea how ridiculously large that would be. It highly doubt they could do it (especially our backwards numpties) - it won't fit on a pen drive.

Poolius said,
What happens when you sell your phone on ebay? I mean come on, this just isn't practical.


You don't sell sim do you? Unless you un-reg it? That be crazy...

It's not just eBay. What do you do when you want to order a new PAYG phone online? Will the phone networks online stores have to close?

You don't need to register SIM cards to use them anyway. Registering is optional. I recently ordered 4 online to be delivered by post. I was only asked for 1 name, so the other 3 cards they didn't even care about who was using them. Not to mention there was no way to check if the name I gave was true. When I bought 1 in a shop I didn't have to give a name at all, true or otherwise.

Even if they required all sims to be bought in person with a passport from now on, there are still millions in circulation with no registration. These can be bought and sold on ebay to anyone who wants anonymity for whatever reason. They would have to make it illegal to give/sell your sim card to anyone else and make all existing unregistered sim cards deactivate, to have any effect at all. Even then, what about the 1000s of mobiles stolen everyday, many of which will have PAYG sims in them. Contract sims will get cancelled, but who bothers to cancel a PAYG sim? The sim could become more valuable on the black market than the phone. What about sims from other countries that work here on a roaming basis? Are you going to ban foreign sims? What will that do to tourism and commerce if people can't use there phones here. Criminals and terrorists will always find a way to be anonymous. This is a complete joke and won't help at all. All you can do is pay clever people to spy in secret (MI5) and hope they are smarter than the terrorists.

Between the UK and Australia, I am not sure which one will take the cake for the worst nanny state in the Western World! This is another big brother attempt and as far as I am concerned, citizens of the world must stand up to governments that attempt to do things like this! Constitutions should be drawn up that the minute government officials start to take or attempt to take your civil liberties from you they should be removed from office as a matter of course! The Illuminati is at work, beware The Ides of March.....

I can't wait to vote this bunch of muppets out. They seem intent on stripping our civil liberties away bit by bit. Geoff Hoon even said he'd go out of his way to remove civil liberties all in the name of "terrorism". Does anyone even trust this government with personal data these days anyway?

ziadoz said,
I can't wait to vote this bunch of muppets out. They seem intent on stripping our civil liberties away bit by bit. Geoff Hoon even said he'd go out of his way to remove civil liberties all in the name of "terrorism". Does anyone even trust this government with personal data these days anyway?

Yes I do.

I don't trust companies or employees with axe to grind.

These USB sticks etc funny when found always go to press not where they should.

I think you stand alone there then. Labour have a terrible IT track record. Regardless of whether or not it's private firms that keep losing data or not, Labour keep hiring these incompetents with poor IT practices.

It also amazes me how many fellow Brits are willing to give up their privacy so easily and without question.

ziadoz said,
I think you stand alone there then. Labour have a terrible IT track record. Regardless of whether or not it's private firms that keep losing data or not, Labour keep hiring these incompetents with poor IT practices.

It also amazes me how many fellow Brits are willing to give up their privacy so easily and without question.

It was given up long time ago. Google know more about you than you think.

How can Labour be held responsible for say a security firm that have a ****ed of employee that does something stupid?

They are already watching MSN etc, emails, texts, internet, phones and more.

They can watch me I don't do anything wrong.

Back on topic most phones bought registered false are used for crime purposes, why not prove who you are?

Labour are to blame for hiring bad IT firms. These private firms clearly have bad practices as their employees are able to extract sensitive data onto a USB key or CD and then consequently lose it. Instead of giving the Data Protection act more strength to punish this incompetence (as requested by the Information Commissioner) Labour have shied away. Is that the kind of government that takes data protection and security seriously? I doubt it.

If a phone is "registered false" as you put, then this renders ID checking on buying phones redundant anyway since you just have to use a fake passport to obtain a mobile phone.

I really hate this "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" attitude. It always reminds me of a Benjamin Franklin quote:

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security

To be fair, it's the civil servants, not the government who are usually to blame. They don't change when the government does.

M2Ys4U said,
To be fair, it's the civil servants, not the government who are usually to blame. They don't change when the government does.


Exactly. Its the incompetent Civil Servants not doing their jobs properly!

bbfc_uk said,
Exactly. Its the incompetent Civil Servants not doing their jobs properly!


Well they should have better procedures in place.

Most of the data leaks seem to be coming from contractors or a third party(like TNT loosing those cd-roms, they should have used a single person courier, if not electronic transfer).

acnpt said,
Well they should have better procedures in place.

Most of the data leaks seem to be coming from contractors or a third party(like TNT loosing those cd-roms, they should have used a single person courier, if not electronic transfer).

The tories would do no better at keeping data safe thats for sure.

thealexweb said,

The tories would do no better at keeping data safe thats for sure.

Yep.

When Tories in there was no Google, Internet was barely usable, No USB Sticks etc etc the world has changed alot and Labour have done reasonable job adjusting.

yes, well, all the finger pointing and blaming aside; you are all giving up your personal liberty for the illusion of security. and that's all it is, an illusion. although i cant say much to the contrary myself, all my fellow Americans are doing the same despicable crap. soon, though, it will all come tumbling down and we will all feel like a rite bunch of nit-wits.

stevember said,
They can watch me I don't do anything wrong.

Let me or a few dozen others watch you and I guarantee we'll find something that you're doing wrong, perhaps even illegal (and if it isn't illegal right now, wait until I become a lawmaker and maybe I'll make it illegal). Similarly, I feel that I don't do anything wrong in my day to day life, but I guarantee that if someone else were watching my every move and word they'd find something wrong within days, if not minutes. You may be a perfectly good, law-abiding person in your view, but you're fooling yourself if you think that everyone else would see you that way.

Yes, privacy is being infringed on quite heavily these days, and many people are content to simply give it all away. I don't think you need to go overboard in trying to maintain privacy, but at least respect what little privacy you do have and fight to keep it.

You do when you register your SIM, but you can do it online and there's no validation made on the details you provide.

Can't really see this as being a good thing at all, TBH. Sure it might help track a couple of criminals down, but at what cost to privacy?

I thought that all countries in the EU where supposed to require telephone companies to have the name of every prepaid customer as per some EU regulation? Maybe I'm wrong, but in spain they want your name now. But it's the company that keeps the database just as they do with every other customer, not some weirdass government database, that's for sure.