Thursday, Oct 30, 2008
Gordon Brown’s claims that a national ID card scheme would help prevent terrorist attacks are “absolute bunkum” according to a senior Government security adviser.
Harvey Mattinson, a consultant at the information technology arm of GCHQ, said that the only real value of identity cards would be to help state bodies share information about people.
Mr Mattinson is a former senior official at the Cabinet Office who now advises GCHQ’s Communications-Electronics Security Group.
(Article continues below)
Speaking at an IT security conference in Wales, he rubbished ministers’ claims that the multi-billion pound scheme would enhance national security.
The Prime Minister and Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, have repeatedly said ID cards will help protect Britain against terror attacks.
In a major speech about the scheme in June, Mr Brown said the cards were needed “to help inside our borders in the fight against crime, illegal working, benefit fraud and terrorism.” while in March, Miss Smith declared: “The benefits are clear: to counter illegal immigration and illegal employment, to tackle crime and terrorism.”
In fact, Mr Mattinson said, the cards would only be useful for “everyday issues” when Government departments needed to transfer information about people and dismissed claims that they would help the fight against terrorism as “absolute bunkum”.
This article was posted: Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 5:02 am