Cory Doctorow on ID cards

Cory Doctorow

Originally uploaded by
Aleksi Aaltonen

Cory Doctorow, the Canadian science fiction author (and privacy advocate), writes about what it means to be forced to carry a mandatory biometric RFID ID card in Britain. Doctorow has been co-opted into the pilot programme for ID cards because of his spousal visa. The scheme is also being forced on foreign students (who along with airline pilots seem to be up in arms) and will eventually be extended to everyone in the UK, if the government get its way.

This is one of the reasons why he thinks the cards are wrong:

“My family fled the Soviet Union after the war. They were displaced people (my father was born in a refugee camp in Azerbaijan) who destroyed their papers to protect themselves from the draconian authorities who sought to limit their travel and migration. I used to think it was ironic that my family had gone from Europe to Canada and back to Europe again in a generation, but now I don’t know how long the Doctorows will be staying in Europe — or at least in the UK. The green and pleasant land has suspended habeas corpus, instituted street searches without particularlized suspicion, encourages its citizens to spy and snitch on each other, and now has issued mandatory universal papers that will track we dirty immigrants as we move around our adopted “home,” as part of a xenophobic campaign to arouse fear and resentment against migrants.”