back to article Want to buy Jacqui Smith's ID?

Four people have been arrested after the BBC bought a driving licence and utility bills in the name of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. The Beeb has spent the last three months investigating one of the many websites which sell identity documents. It bought a driving licence, a gas bill and a bank statement in Jacqui Smith's name …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Id cards are a great idea

    why piss about getting multiple fake documents, when you can have it all in one!

    Of course in order to get an ID card, you need to supply a driving licenses, a utility bill and a fingerprint on a form from your (not so) local Post Office.

  2. Jamie

    I'd still vote

    I would still vote for the Tory pary even if they had to spend money to cancel one of the most stupid ideas in history.

  3. twelvebore
    Thumb Down

    Government response

    Honestly what did people expect the government response to be? I saw the trailer for this programme last night and it was instantly blindingly obvious that they'd trot out the "see, this just proves we need ID cards" line.

    But the BBC are quite happy to follow along like sheep and set them up with more ammunition. Why aren't they doing a proper investigation of the problems behind ID cards.... because they're all a bunch of arts graduates who don't understand the technical problems behind them that's why.

  4. Dave

    Own Goal?

    I'm not necessarily a fan of Id cards or the Gov't. But how is it that the Gov't are missing the point about the ID database?

    Surely these were forgeries of the paper documents, not hacking data into the DVLA / Utility company databases?

  5. /\/\j17

    Continuing The Logic...

    "ID cards will tie your fingerprints to your biographical details, cracking down on fraud, and creating a single, secure proof of identity."

    That would be the ID card you need to apply for, proving your identity with supporting documentation such as... Drivers Licence and at a guess utility bills.

    If I use false documents to get a Jacqui Smith ID card does this trigger a paradox that forces the real Jacqui Smith to pop out of existance?

  6. David Hicks
    Gates Horns


    Every time this government is presented with evidence or example of the foolishness of one of their policies they react exactly the same way -

    "We believe that it will have the desired effect, as we always said"

    They seem incapable of reevaluating their ideas, in favour of just carrying on blindly because they've made their decision now.

    It's also yet another demonstartion of their total lack of evidence for their policies. Gut-based legislation is not only worrying, it's downright scary. See - "Extreme Porn", "Lethal Skunk" and, well, pretty much everything else they do for further examples.

    I don't quite get how this happened. When New Labour first came to power they removed some licensing restrictions, downgraded weed and seemed generally like they had freedom and good policy on their minds. What went wrong? When did Nanny take over?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Some validity...

    Whilst I don't really like the idea of the national ID card - the principle of having the biometric part is that it (should) stop someone obtaining more than 1 legitimate ID. Currently people can, using false documents, obtain multiple driving licenses, passports etc.

    The issue still remains though that without checking of the data stored on the card each time the card is used, it pretty much becomes just another photo ID, which means it's probably not too difficult to replicate visually. Cloning the data is another matter, but if it's not checked by 99% of people, why bother.

  8. Robert St-John
    Thumb Down

    I still dont get

    why i need a card with my fingerprint on it , when i carry my fingers around all of the time

    If they do decide to go ahead with it, lets hope its another NHS fiasco , so thats a good 30 years before anythign is delivered imho

  9. Neil Charles

    Lose your identity in one easy mistake

    At least at they needed to fake a bill, bank statement AND driving licence to make the point.

    (Probably mis)quoting Frankie Boyle talking about ID cards on Mock the Week...

    "Oh no, I've had my wallet nicked, I'm going to be needing a new set of fingerprints and eyeballs"

  10. Mike Crawshaw

    @ Continuing the Logic...

    "If I use false documents to get a Jacqui Smith ID card does this trigger a paradox that forces the real Jacqui Smith to pop out of existance?"

    If only it were that easy, I would happily devote as much time as it took to doing just that.....!!

    Smiley because of that thought. *Not* because of the blatant stupidity and arrogance shown by our NuLabour Overlords.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which website did the beeb use?

    Can somebody tell me the address of the website the BBC used?

    Please don't give me the ``we can't tell you that information line." Security through obscurity doesn't work (unless you are a minister, or talking to one).

  12. James

    I still dont get... alternatively

    why they can't give us a couple of dozen cards each to keep in our various trousers, jackets, bags. I mean it wouldn't matter if someone else get hold of them. They'd be useless in the wrong hands, wouldn't they... wouldn't they?

    (doesn't matter which coat I get, I have an ID card in every one)

  13. Anonymous Coward

    w....! f.....!! c.....!!?!!

    What can I say... words fail me!

    ./*Brain Burn - due to lack of Logic.

  14. Rich

    Plod squad

    "...including establishing the City of London Police as the national lead on fraud."

    Perhaps the 'national lead' should start by investigating their cultish friends.

  15. The Power Of Greyskull

    Great for fraudsters

    "ID cards will tie your fingerprints to your biographical details, cracking down on fraud, and creating a single, secure proof of identity."

    Rather, ID cards will serve to strengthen false IDs. Unless the biometric input systems can reliably detect duplicates*, this is just a bag of arse.

    *"Mr X - it appears you've already registered for an ID card!"

    "Nonsense - you systems must be duff"

    "Fair point - here's your card"

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Bill Smith


    Who would want to be Jacqui Smith? After all she is the most useless twat in a useless government.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes it easier to clone IDs

    Copying physical documents is hard, copying computer files is easy.

    Government wants to do something about ID theft, it's far tooo hard!, Britain leads the way in identity theft and it's important we keep that lead!

    So the Government wants to make it easier to clone your ID, by providing it in a ready to copy card that anyone can demand as proof of identity. Pop into your local video store, 'can I check your id card sir', swipe, cloned.

    There, so much easier than getting people to sit still for cameras, or hand over sensitive documents. They can't see those biometrics on the card and as we all know what you can't see can't hurt you.

    And what's more it will have protection, so the cards content can only be read by 2 million card readers not 5 million card readers. Strongly protecting your ID!

    And when you order a replacement driving license by post, the DVLA will take your ID card, clone the data and sell it to anyone pretending to need it for a fiver too.

    Besides, doesn't the word 'biometrics' sound cool??? You know, so much better than fingerprints, or photo.

    Plus it's hitech and Britain needs to support it's HiTech industry, whether it's genetically modified people, DNA profiling, or whatever, just as long as it's hi tech.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    " compensate the technology providers "

    Yeh, right. They surely deserve to be "compensated" for their collaboration with a repressive government's attempt to create a police state.

    I say we "compensate" them by permitting them to carry on breathing.

  20. muzchap

    Why bother

    Citizen Kane...

    This is ridiculous - I'm definitely a number! in Fact - i work with a couple of numbers:


    I wish they were


    but no, plain old



    New Zealand, Australia or Thailand beckons... This country is gone...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Why

    Sorry to disagree, but the most useless twats in government are in my opinion

    0. Peter Mendelsohn -- As honest as anyone building a nest egg in Brussels.

    1. Alastair Daring - What has he ever done right?

    2. Royal Navy Sea Harriet - What has she ever done?

    3. Lazytown Hewitt - Failed in DTI, failed in NHS. Failure. Less energy than Robbie Rotten?

    4. The back benches - Ohhoh we're the yes man ah!! (Lennon & McCartney.)

    5. Clare Shortarse - bad egg?

    6. Incapability Brown - Couldn't win an egg and spoon race?

    7. Charles Clarke.-- Couldn't fry an egg?

    8. Po Blunkett -- Wouldn't recognise an egg if it jumped up and bit him?

    9. Yvette Cooper -- Couldn't boil an egg?

    9. Ed Balls. -- Couldn't fertilise an egg?

    10. Ruth Kelly - Couldn't clone an egg, due to her taking orders from the Vatican?

    11. Cool Hull Luke - Complete hypocrite who couldn't keep an good egg down?

    12. Stephen Byers - Words fail me on this guy.

    13. Robin Cook - Would love to ask him if he regretted screwing off the yanks.

    There are only about three or four politicians I'd let in my house.

    Tony Blair - I'll bet he's a great dinner guest. - but I'd kick his wife in the face if she tried to follow him in.

    Jacqui Smith - Simply love the way she went on telly without makeup after the local elections, she looked like she'd had so much sleep. I've got a lot of time for someone, especially a girl, who cares more about the job than her own appearance. Particularly liked the bags under her eyes.

    Tony Benn - Don't agree at all with any political stance he had, but thought he was a real gent and honest.

  22. Spleen


    "If I use false documents to get a Jacqui Smith ID card does this trigger a paradox that forces the real Jacqui Smith to pop out of existance?"

    Politicians, people who work for the state, can't possibly cease to exist. (That's what state means, something that just is.) So the paradox would obviously be resolved by you literally becoming Jacqui Smith.

    "I don't quite get how this happened. When New Labour first came to power they removed some licensing restrictions, downgraded weed and seemed generally like they had freedom and good policy on their minds. What went wrong? When did Nanny take over?"

    When they'd got used to the feeling of power, when it became clear the Tories wouldn't be coming back for a long time, and when you'd been lulled into a false sense of security.

    Those of us with some connection to hunting or coursing could have told you what was coming from day 1. We knew that any idea that Labour ever had anything to do with individual liberty was complete, total, indefensible shite. But we were the first line on Niemoller's "First they came" poem so in no possible universe was anyone going to listen.

  23. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Bill Smith

    Barry Humphries?

  24. Anonymous John

    Since when are ID cards needed to buy novelty items?

    Which s what one such firm claimed were all their fake HGV licences were. Although they didn't explain why anyone would want to spend £250 on a novelty fake document.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Robin Cook is a great politician

    "13. Robin Cook - Would love to ask him if he regretted screwing off the yanks."

    He's the best Labour politician there is, I wish Blair & Ms Smith would follow his lead in fact. You haven't heard aboutCook trying to grab more taxes, lock up more people, ban more things based on false evidence, or any of the crap the others get up to.

    No, he's been the least damaging Labour MP of the lot of them, far better than Blair or Jacqui Smith.

    We need more like him, hundreds more like him.

  26. Scott

    Q and A

    The year 2012 :- If i don't have my ID card when i walk (use to drive but petrol is at 15 quid a gram and the russians have bombed the US for the oil in the arctic)down the shops for milk, Will the City of London police (now with new SS badges as they are the new "Terrorist" secret police force) arrest me and lock me up for 3 months (without charge)?

    Icon cause libertys dead, long live the NuLabour over masters....

  27. Pete James


    Robin Cook is dead AC. Talking about him in the present tense is a little clumsy if not disrespectful.

    And to be honest, I'd be relieved if we didn't have hundreds of Robin Cooks in Parliament. Divorce lawyers would love it tho'. Perhaps you were thinking about Donald Dewar who was quite a decent chap.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Get your fake ID now

    Sounds like now is the time to get your new fake passport and driving licence, so that when it comes time to get your new ID card you already have the documents needed to get it.

  29. Mark

    Re: Robin Cook is a great politician

    Aye, and I remember Robin Cook trying to grab hi sex-girlfriend's knickers...

    Course that doesn't stop him being the least damaging Labour MP. And at least he had the courage to resign over Tony's farcical contortions to get the Iraqi war going for his good friend and fellow god-botherer G.W.Bush.

  30. RW

    @ David Hicks

    "When New Labour first came to power they removed some licensing restrictions, downgraded weed and seemed generally like they had freedom and good policy on their minds. What went wrong? When did Nanny take over?"

    From where I sit in Canada, watching the decline and fall under NuLab of the once-great UK is like a cross between Monty Python and a slow-motion train wreck. Bear with a little cheap analysis, please. (There will be a pop quiz tomorrow.)

    Historically, the English have been famously ungovernable. The ca 1640 revolution is merely one example (though perhaps the most famous) of their recalcitrance and disinclination to kiss the ass of Authority.

    To answer your question in this context, I think New Labour simply didn't realize what they were getting into when they took office. They were rather stupid in the first place and had been suckered by various modern fads and buzzwords into thinking that government was easy, just a matter of passing laws against Bad Behavior. Example: the ASBO, which the yobs view as a mark of honor to receive.

    Eventually they ran out of Grand Ideas (none of which had worked, anyway) and the only thing they could think of was more laws, against ever more trivial forms of Bad Behavior. Any minute you can expect a law against painting your front door pink as it may remind a Moslem passerby of a pig, for example.

    They are not at all realistic. For example, the endless silly Health and Safety rules seem to be the products of a mind that worries about things that might happen (but in fact never have) in a hopeless pursuit of an entirely risk-free existence. To take the most recent such nonsense, just how many people have in fact been injured by mortarboards hurled into the air?

    Government has far more serious issues than such trivialities, but the serious issues seem to be beyond the mental capacity of those in charge of the UK, so it's onward and upward with the war on trivial risks and other distractions for their simple minds.

    I'll bet if you handed Gordon Brown a copy of Machiavelli, he'd hold the book upside down with a puzzled look on his face. Your Tony would have merely flashed a blinding smile at it and incinerated it.

    I'll stop now lest our esteemed Moderatrix doze off reading my rant.

  31. Captain DaFt

    So let me get this straight...

    If the ID scheme goes through, I can pick my target, get a fake driver's licence, gas bill, etc, then pop over, get the National ID card in my target's name with my fingerprints and biometrics on it, then report HIM as being the ID thief, he goes off to where ever they send terrorists these days, since his biometrics don't match the official ID, and I now own his life, right?

    Whew, I think that's the longest run-on sentence I've ever done!

  32. Stewart Haywood

    Great choice!

    ".......including establishing the City of London Police as the national lead on fraud."

    Let's all hope that their senior officers did the course on fraud after they got taken in by the scientologists and not before.

    OH!, silly me, I see now, they did the scientology course first and now lead the nation in fraud.

  33. heystoopid

    Only too true

    Only too true , like at the boys from OZ who give thanks for the many wonderful citizens and brilliants minds they scored big time when Winnie's fellow wankers and wowsers had all these spare registered citizens to hand , when they bundled them up as unwanted extras and then sent them all down under on the some what overcrowded hot bunking system that prevailed on the HMT Dunera on that fateful 10th July 1940 voyage ! UK's big loss given these valuable citizens subsequent contributions and OZ gets the best part of the bargain as well !

    Choices or “If two wrongs don't make a right, try three.” !

  34. Anonymous Coward


    They got the ID from a site called Confidential Access.

    From a quick check a 'novelty' driving licence would have been £300, on top of the £30 to get access to the private forum to get the .

    A look around the site suggests that the documents available go well beyond driving licences.

    And on top of the documents they provide 'services' of varying levels of dubiousness, from 'new' credit ratings (looks like a database search to find a name match to the 'customer' with a better rating, then straight ID fraud), through to providing false addresses, telephone services that will answer according to a script (the example given involves a false employment check & reference), false employment histories, and even real addresses with keys - apparently abandoned properties.

    Reading the forums makes it clear that novelty purposes have nothing to do with it, and it's straight out fraud all the way.

    For example the driving licence is worthless for normal purposes, but ideal as ID for other things, maybe hiring gear with no intention to return it?

    The sad thing is that what they're up to isn't even very hard - which is lucky given the retards who seem to be involved with the site.

    It seems to be primarily a case that they've bought access to a few databases (electoral, land registry, credit reference) and they abuse them. They've bought some blank documents to the correct specs from a printer in China. And they've bought the printing equipment to finish the job off.

    Some other aspects of their services are slightly more complex - things like the telephone services, or the 'novelty' company documents with genuine sign-off. But still just a matter of finding one or two people to do the job.

    And the 'revenge' services are just plain a simple system abuse, which anyone could do if they really wanted.

    Knowing what they offer, and what people do with it makes me deeply uncomfortable, but provides a useful lesson in how ID documents and databases can be abused.

    As for the site itself - I'd suggest as a start it'd be useful to add it to Cleanfeed; unlike some sites on there this one is demonstrably harmful.

    Getting the servers shut down would be slightly more difficult, but not exactly impossible.

    And I suspect tracking down the people behind it wouldn't be difficult if someone really wanted to - anonymous DNS, offshore servers and 'untraceable' phone are one thing, but given they regularly connect to their system, they accept payments, they ship goods, they're buying a particular set of databases and they're using specific hardware to make everything there are a few routes to get to them.

    I imagine an anti-terrorist investigation would find them pretty sharpish, and given the combination of services and high profile they're just begging to be taken down.

    Though of course they might have become a honey trap, and busy harvesting details ready for prosecution.

    And even if they're not a honey trap, I would bet that like other similar people before them they have an archive of all the names, addresses, photos, signatures and so on that would be picked up during a future investigation.

    And this is assuming a group of crims wouldn't just abuse the data themselves.

    So overall, a useful lesson for certain people in what is possible, but the site involves needs to be terminated & the data associated with it used for a bit of fraudster hunting.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Duplicate Cards

    Not sure i'd like to test the ability of the (if ever actually implemented) id card scheme, if a duplicate or false card had been issued, it wouldn't be hard to flag it as a "bag the person up and take him to the yanks to torture" card

  36. Herby

    Everyone already has an ID "card"

    It is called a fingerprint. If you happen to commit a crime, and leave a few, they WILL find you!

    If they really wanted to be "good", they would have fingerprint scanners and the RAW information would be processed. Then your name would pop up. No need to carry anything AT ALL.

    By logical extension, DNA is next. Wait they already have a database of this as well, and are working to improve upon it. Sorry about the sequencing taking so long, we'll find out who you are eventually.

    Who needs a silly piece of plastic that can get stolen/nicked at any time. Useless item.

    Oh, and you don't give up fingerprints very easily. Just to make sure, the verification scanner could ask (CAPTCHA) for a specific finger (not just the right thumb).

    Look, I'm over here in the states, I'll get my coat, and leave.

  37. MarkMcA
    Dead Vulture

    This is so serious, I'm changing my vote because of it

    Been Labour since old enough to vote (20 years ago). Sometimes voted Liberal just to keep the Tories out, but this time I'm forced to vote for the hated enemy.

    The very idea of compulsory ID cards in Great Britain is utterly disgusting; an insult to every soldier who has ever fought - or died - to keep this country free.

    "Your papers are not in order..."

    F*ck you, Labour. You broke my heart.

  38. Moss Icely Spaceport

    The world awaits....

    If Britain does implement an ID card, whether successful or not ("not" being the most likely outcome), just watch politicians from other countries jump on the bandwagon.

    Britain, please say NO!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Mark

    "hi sex-girlfriend"? There's a freudian slip if ever I saw one...

  40. Steve B

    IS a graduate worse than a GCSE student?

    "they are a bunch of Arts Graduates" may refer to the BBC but the members of this government stopped ART education at GCSE level or O level as we used to call them, hence the collective noun "Arts Os"

  41. Kjetil

    To quote Douglas Adams...

    "It was an Ident-i-Eeze, and was a very naughty and silly thing for Harl to have lying around in his wallet, though it was perfectly understandable. There were so many different ways in which you were required to provide absolute proof of your identity these days that life could easily become extremely tiresome just from that factor alone, never mind the deeper existential problems of trying to function as a coherent consciousness in an epistemologically ambiguous physical universe. Just look at cash point machines, for instance. Queues of people standing around waiting to have their fingerprints read, their retinas scanned, bits of skin scraped from the nape of the neck and undergoing instant (or nearly instant --- a good six or seven seconds in tedious reality) genetic analysis, then having to answer trick questions about members of their family they didn't even remember they had, and about their recorded preferences for tablecloth colours. And that was just to get a bit of spare cash for the weekend. If you were trying to raise a loan for a jetcar, sign a missile treaty or pay an entire restaurant bill things could get really trying.

    Hence the Ident-i-Eeze. This encoded every single piece of information about you, your body and your life into one all- purpose machine-readable card that you could then carry around in your wallet, and therefore represented technology's greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense."

    Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless, 1992

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Robin Cool is dead

    "Robin Cook is dead AC. Talking about him in the present tense is a little clumsy if not disrespectful. And to be honest, I'd be relieved if we didn't have hundreds of Robin Cooks in Parliament"


  43. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Robin Cool is dead

    I knew that would happen. If I'd thought about it I could have offered some manner of booby prize. But then that would have given it away.

    But then I bet someone would have done it anyway.

    I could offer you this nice cabbage?

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Herby

    "It is called a fingerprint. If you happen to commit a crime, and leave a few, they WILL find you!"

    This is the UK. Here you could commit a crime and leave your **fingers** behind and the police wouldn't turn up until they'd rotted away to bones. remember crimes are not as important as catching litterers, speeders or MP3 distribution sites (legal or illegal).

  45. Andrew Meredith
    Thumb Up


    Nice quote. I have always found it to be a whole lot easier and quicker to make the global assumption:

    "Douglas Adams was right all along"

    and carry on from there.

    cf The cat owning existentialist that rules the universe. Perfect.

    The man was a proper English genius, may he rest in peace.

    Not to mention being one of only two authors (the other is Spike Milligan) who can make me lose it completely and roll on the floor incapable of speech with just the written word. I use the present tense as their books still make me completely hoot, despite having read them all a dozen times each.

  46. Tom
    Paris Hilton

    My god AC!

    All you've done there is liken Jacqui smith to a retard who loved her pet dog so hard it died. Doesn't mean she should be allowed to own animals even though all she has is compassion.

    Have a fun Tea party...

  47. David Gillies

    Burn it! Burn it all!

    If the technology providers are compensated (which they probably should be as they have been acting in good faith, no matter the perniciousness of the ID card scheme in general), then part of the deal must be the surrender of all documentation, electronic and paper, that the providers have gathered and created. This means every memo, every private note, every back of the envelope sketch, every design document, every CD, every backup tape, every hard drive in every computer that has been used to work on the project. Once all this has been obtained, it must be securely destroyed (papers shredded and burnt, hard drives disassembled and the platters smelted down to slag etc.). This way the hurdle to reimposing the scheme when Labour eventually get back in will be as large as it is this time, thereby postponing its implementation until they steer the country into the ditch again and get voted out.

    Fire hazard icon for the lovely bonfire we need to make of this Stasi-like proposal.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Personally ...

    I can't wait.

    Endless easily obtained fake identities.

    I used to be vehemently against the idea of ID cards, but if you can't beat them, join them! Embrace it with open arms and watch the ensuing chaos and downfall of governments and politicians left, right and centre.

    Cleverly (ab)used ID cards are potentially the most powerful revolutionary tool available.

  49. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Re: @ Mark


    Icon, for obvious reasons... Though I look more like the Jobs satan pic...

  50. Gilbert Wham


    ...who thinks a change of government will magically stop these kind of deluded clusterfucks has their head up there arse. The Tories might *say* they'll get rid of it, but will they bollocks. They'll just kick Labour's cronies out of the tendering process and usher in their own.

  51. Steen Hive
    Dead Vulture


    "Those of us with some connection to hunting or coursing could have told you what was coming from day 1."

    Unadulterated shite. The miners, for example got shafted by vicious authoritarianism and cynical realpolitik long before any landed inbreeds and their supine serfs in "country life" did. NuLab learned from the best, indeed, so stop whingeing when her vile legacy comes back to bite you on the arse.

This topic is closed for new posts.