Tech’ news in brief…

British banks to provide extra Web security:

“Major British banks are set to agree on a physical security device for all UK online customers to use.

This move to two-factor authentication could make customers more secure when banking online. Such systems use a physical security device that generates a password to be used only once.

Identity theft emails, known as phishing attacks, cost UK banks $22.6 million last year, according to the Association of Payment and Clearing Systems, which represents the British banking industry.

Precise details of the two-factor device should be agreed upon in May, with the banks expected to roll out devices within nine to 12 months.” Read more…

Labour promises ‘voluntary’ compulsory ID card:

“The ‘voluntary’ ID card returned yesterday with the publication of the Labour’s Party’s election manifesto, but it’s once again rather difficult to find out what’s voluntary about it. According to the wording: ‘We will introduce ID cards, including biometric data like fingerprints, backed up by a national register and rolling out initially on a voluntary basis as people renew their passports.’ So, what’s voluntary here?” Read me…

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

1 reply on “Tech’ news in brief…”

From the same story: “Other technological highlights from the Labour manifesto include: – more use of tagging and tracking to deal with the most persistent young offenders
– Every offender will be supervised after release; we will increase the use of electronic tagging and we will test the use of compulsory lie detectors to monitor convicted sex offenders
– Fast-track all unfounded asylum seekers with electronic tagging where necessary and more use of detention as we expand the number of detention centres.
– we will introduce new laws to help catch and convict those involved in helping to plan terrorist activity or who glorify or condone acts of terror.
– New control orders will enable police and security agencies to keep track of those they suspect of planning terrorist outrages including bans on who they can contact or meet, electronic tagging and curfew orders, and for those who present the highest risk, a requirement to stay permanently at home.”

Bloody Hell! How long will it be before we all have electronic tags “just in case”?

That’s not just a fatuous question, but with the testing of biometric data on chip (and as you mentioned in a previous story available for your pets right now), it just makes ‘sense’ in all sorts of ways to incorporate some kind of tracking (and perhaps) tagging into such a chip, then implant it in the brain from birth (where it could be upated by inductance perhaps, but not removed without causing death). 1984 here were come!

Seriously, if you were a fascist dictator, isn’t that an ideal solution to controlling the populace. It all sounds far-fetched, and we’ve all read speculative fiction of the sort where this is happening. But the technology is available now, and is becoming more tried-and-tested all the time.

The advantages are obvious:
– complete control over who does what, where and when
– reduction of so many sorts of crime (e.g. you can’t get online unless your biometric data is used to ‘sign you on’)

There are many people (mostly politicians I suspect) who will see that as a utopian solution.
There are many who see it as hell on earth.
Personally I feel that it’s inevitable. The only things we can really influence right now are; how long it takes to be introduced (hopefully not in our lifetimes), and exactly what form it takes (and I think ‘voluntary’ is unlikely to be the case).

I’m not a scaremonger, just a pessimistic realist (if there can be such a thing).

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