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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.
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    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    More complaints about Big Brother plans

    Following on from my mid-January Big Brother posts about the Identity Card Bill, and in the wake of their last report (PDF) which questioned the cost - actually it did more than question, it claimed that the costs would be vastly more than suggested by government - The London School of Economics (LSE) has declined to issue further costings because of ‘secrecy and contradictions', today publishing the second report of its controversial ‘Identity Project’. Their press release says:

    Today's report levels criticism at the government over the secrecy of the ID planning process, conflicting statements made by the Home Office and a disregard for Parliament's right to consider important costs and facts related to the scheme. ...
    The report observes: ‘Dozens of questions about the scheme's architecture, goals, feasibility, stakeholder engagement and outcomes remain unanswered. These questions are outlined in this report. The security of the scheme remains unstable, as are the technical arrangements for the proposal. The performance of biometric technology is increasingly questionable. We continue to contest the legality of the scheme. The financial arrangements for the proposals are almost entirely secret, raising important questions of constitutional significance.’
    Like the LSE, I am astounded by what it seems possible for government to progress when so little is known about a project. As I write this, I cannot help think of today's headlines about the Child Support Agency's remarkable lack of success in both budget and activities. Isn't this some sort of a warning?

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