The proposal to create a British giga-database tracking every phone call, text-message, public transit usage, CCTV capture, purchase, educational experience, medical detail, plane or train ride, toll-usage, and other transactions continues to show its absurdity. The Times's David Leppard has noticed that the legislation will also require people who buy mobile phones in the UK to present a passport and have it registered with their number. Note that even in China, throwaway prepaid SIMs are the norm -- the UK proposal makes China look like a bastion of privacy and good government.
Terrorists will just buy phones abroad and roam on them in the UK, of course.
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.
Passports will be needed to buy mobile phones
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.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard the re-argument of Sessions v. Dimaya, a case that asks whether the administration can treat lawful immigrants to the USA (including Green Card holders like me) as though we have no Constitutional rights.
Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX, @JohnCornyn, +1 202-224-2934] introduced the Building America’s Trust Act as a “long-term border security and interior enforcement strategy” but refused to release the bill’s text, which has now leaked.
The CBC asked me to write an editorial for their package about Canadian identity and politics, timed with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the settler state on indigenous lands. They’ve assigned several writers to expand on themes in the Canadian national anthem, and my line was “We stand on guard for thee.”
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