Monday, 26 January 2009

A £224 million snoopers charter

After the usual plethora of delays we have come to expect in public sector ICT projects Cap Gemini have today begun the roll out of the ContactPoint system, a database holding the personal details of all 11 million children in England and Wales.

The first part of the roll out is to train 300 council workers as administrators, it will then be rolled out to 19 or so 'Early Adopters' - a motley group of Councils and charities including Barnardos. The eventual aim is to enable access by an estimated 390,000 users throughout England and Wales.

WTF? So we enable a massive group of false-charity-workers and jobs-worth-council-employees access to personal information on any child in England and Wales. If ever there was a charter for data loss and compromise of personal information this is it, but that is the least of my worries.
  • First of all who gave permission for their children's details to be held on this derisible control freakery database?
  • Give me one clear illustration how such a massive increase in state snooping will make any difference to child abuse? In all of the recent cases of child abuse the families were already known to Social Services.
  • Do you really believe that when 'the children' whose details are held on this database come to an arbitrary chosen 'age of adulthood' their details will be deleted?
  • Why, no how, could it cost £224 million?
  • Why is nobody willing to discuss the potential for serious abuse by pervs? There has got to be at least one in a user population of 390,000. It'll be like an Argos catalogue for them.
This is a national personal database by the backdoor, using yet another righteous argument that no-one will challenge "it's for the protection of children". It is my belief that this database will make no difference to child safety, will amass long term income for Cap Gemini and achieve nothing other than as a sink for public funds and the self satisfaction of do-gooders who will pat each other on their collective backs until the first child on the database is killed or kidnapped by their own parents - and that is inevitable isn't it?

Database state, too fucking right - while we are at it why don't we just barcode or chip every child born, use the scanners in every shop to monitor their movements, put them all under curfew after 5:30 and install CCTV in their parents homes? What hope have we got? Or more importantly what hope is there for our future, and our future's liberty?


  1. If English folks let their kids be abused in this way they deserve to be horsewhipped. Englishmen - have you no cojones?

  2. Scotland sits in the wings watching this - I hear the Scottish Children's Commissioner is "watching with interest".

    A warning to us I think.

  3. Aye - the forces of evil are everywhere.

  4. Details soon to be lost in transit, maybe a stolen pc, a memory card, dumped in a skip, stolen or otherwise given away to a Nigerian.

  5. While i do see your point on Government Building bit by bit the apparatus of the coming police state.

    I wonder as i see like most bloggers you have a little counter recording. Not just how many hits you have but much other information as well.

    If someone called round to visit would you want to know where they live how they reached you did they call earlier while you was out
    and lots on other info as well.
    How many of your friends would remain friends if they knew that is what you were doing.

    You see how information seeking and storing can become just a normal uninteresting pastime.
    How everybody becomes a spy and a sneak because it becomes so easy to do so.


    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free

  6. Good point Niko. The difference here, though, is that traffic flow is anonymous. While we may track our fellow bloggers movements into and out of our blogs - we don't know who they are or where they really come from. For example Freejit logs me in as Edinburgh - I am not in Edinburgh or anywhere near it. I have instructed Freejit to falsely report my location. No such option will be available from the government, and if you attempt it the old Bill will be giving you a dawn wake up call.

  7. OK Niko, do you object to the Feedjit thing?
    I am actually unable to collect anything meaningful about you from an IP address alone - even the location is often incorrect, and I certainly don't store that information or collect for one purpose and use for another, whilst secretly disseminating to others.

    Hey if you believe that it compromises you in some way, explain it to me please - I am interested...

    That information is available to all websites, do you Google? Use Google / Yahoo toolbars, free software or Windows? These people have a much more sinister data collection policy than freely available and displayed information.

    You have to decide whether it bothers you or not, my guiding principal is that I would not do anything or put anything on the Internet I would not want others to see. You can anonymise your IP address to an extent and attempt to cover your activities, but that's just pissing in the wind in terms of protecting your identity.

    Scunnert is right - it's anonymous and already (since the inception of the Internet) necessarily in the public domain as afunction of you using the Internet.

  8. scunnert

    Thats how we all go down the slippery slope..If its wrong for the Government (and it is) then it is wrong for everybody else.

    If i meet a person in the street or the pub i take them at face value.
    this new technology makes us all snoopers.

  9. It did occur to me when I configured the Feedjit thingy that some people might be uncomfortable with it. Just be aware every webserver you connect to collects that information and often stores it for other uses.

    You want I remove it?

  10. polaris

    Its the principle and how easy people just go along with the herd. Cos one's got it then I'll have it and so on.

    Anyway i hack into my neighbors wireless connection so its there IP address not mine.

    "compromises" Nah! boring old fart now..Although back in the day! yeah Back in the day!

  11. Niko,

    After some consideration I have removed the feedjit widget. Howevere, principle or not, I cannot believe both you and scunnert would compare that and web logging activity to the outrageous behaviour of a state obsessed with the collection of INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL information on all of us without our consent and in the face of presumption of innocence.

    Shit, perhaps I should can this blog until I can get Wordpress installed on my own server - you might be right. Google own blogger and they are collecting shedloads of data about us, like our IP address, browser and operating system, and my false personal details and anonymous gmail account - Christ they could own me and my family with that!

    It's just the principle ;-)

  12. Finally - the state and law enforcement have the Internet covered already under RIPA amongst other things.

    Worry about the private data, they call it 'Intelligence'...

  13. polaris

    The old bill stopped me late at night about 4 moths ago 3am finished a late shift.

    Pulled across me with two cars told me to get out of the car leave the keys in car. And preceded to give me lot of verbal according to them i was
    Drunk driving, uninsured, untaxed and no mot.

    This was apart from the drinking which they said was my erratic driving. Was showing up on their software.

    so i passed the Breathalyser seeing as i hadn't had a drink for several days i would.

    the car was all legal and insured mot etc. They fu#ked off what could they do and my estimation of old bill went down a bit more.

    all on a bit of faulty software information....

    My firm belief is is if i had been a young black male the way they tried to intimidate me..I would have been nicked for something of that I'm sure.

  14. Niko,

    I think we both feel the same way about Civil Servants + DATA. You being stopped is a bloody outrage, but I would have probably ended up in the cells, I would have protested about it. A bit like the time I verbally assaulted a mounted officer for charging me with jumping the lights, after I waited on the rolling traffic jam behind them, blocking my way.

    Write a letter of complaint to your local Chief Constable, I would.