back to article Home Office to order fingerprinting of air passengers

Fingerprinting of air passengers in the UK is back on the agenda, despite its having been derailed by the Information Commissioner earlier this year. the Home Office now plans to change aviation security rules to compel airport operators to collect fingerprints from next year onwards. A 'count them in, count them out' system …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    For viz readers

    The bottom inspectors have arrived - have you wiped !

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm so shocked... government making up ever more oppresive, paranoid, unnecessary laws on the cusp of its enevitable eviction from power.

    Unlike Bush, our lame duck leaders have all the power to royaly f--k our country up in their final two years of power.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Little Britain ? Nahhhh Little USA

    America's got one daddy daddy I want one ...


  4. Anonymous Coward

    beat the rush

    Looks like people's plans to leave this police-state before the ID-card lockdown in 2012 will need to be bought forward. I'm out May next year, hopefully I'll slip under the wire.

  5. Colin Millar

    A solution looking for a problem

    Cos it does not address ticket switching unless you recheck the prints at the boarding gate

    Why don't they just do re-check-in for transfers with whatever the current check-in procedure is?

    Can I suggest a new verbified active name for the immigration people

    United Kingdom Guarding Borders has a nice ring (and an even more comforting acronym)

  6. Ratz

    Petition the PM on this

    There is already a petition in place to request the banning of collecting biometric data from people making use of essential services within the UK. That is: buses, planes, electricity, water etc.

    Please do your bit and sign up.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Proportionate . . . I don't think so.

    I was 'discussing' the government's anti-terrorism agenda with a colleague the other day. This person was (broadly) in favour of these actions until I asked what we are being protected from. How many people have been killed as a result of terrorism in the UK in, say, the last thirty years? (This allows us to include when the IRA was active over here and we can include Lockerbie). I don't know this number but I am prepared to bet it is not much more than a thousand or so. (Don't get me wrong, I'm no more keen than the next sapient entity on being burned, blasted, infected or dirty-bombed) But 10,000 people A YEAR are killed on the UK's roads.

    Now, where should the money be spent?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    RE: beat the rush

    I'm outta here in less than 60 days

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Colin Millar

    @AC Re: RE: beat the rush

    You should be out in no more than 42

  11. Tony

    it gets worse

    Supposing they did introduce this measure - do you think that this will improve speed through the airports or not?

    I certainly cannot see anyway in which this will provide any greater level of security against terrorists. It will waste our time, money, resources and allow the government to criminalise ordinary people. The concept of using falsified fingerprints has been known and options available since the 60's.

    Then when they lose the data, any old Tom Dick or Harry can use it to steal your identity - because the government will say that the data cannot possibly be wrong, or in any way leaked, you will suddenly become a criminal overnight.

    I am going to change my name by deed poll to "Mr Cynical".

    I wonder if in a year's time, they will try to change the law to allow themselves to remain in power past the 5 year limit?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Why don't existing checks work?

    At every international boarding gate they check both passport and boarding pass. If you swap boarding pass then your name won't match your passport. if you swap passport then your face doesn't match. If your face still matches then you have a problem with passports in general.

    By the way, has anyone else been through T5 recently. I was unlucky enough to go through on my latest trip to the UK, and it is probably one of the worst airports I've ever had the displeasure to be herded through. It has been designed as a bad shopping mall with air travel glued on to the periphery. Arriving I was unfortunate enough to arrive in one of the satellite gate areas. That meant walking about a million miles to get to a silly little train that takes you 10 yards, but you wait 10 minutes for it. Then you walked about a million miles in the terminal before you were let out. Next when I flew out it was even worse. Firstly, the "fast check-in" desks had no queues set up for them, so you got no priority queuing for business or first class, and it was just a scrum across the whole terminal, so it appeared to be luck how fast your got handled. Then you went through security which didn't seem to be well laid out, and had these hugely complex conveyors that take the trays in both directions (rather than someone having to take the trays back manually), the camera that detected when you had things left in a tray and stopped it going back through security seemed to not be working most of the time, so you got huge backlogs of trays. Then the departure lounge has been laid out so you have to walk past ALL the shops to get anywhere. It was something like a 10 or 15 minute walk to get from security to the BA lounge. The walk involved going down one set of escalators, past a tonne of shops, then back up 2 sets of escalators to a location really close to security (as far as I could tell). Then you got in the lounge and it was dreadful compared to the old lounges in the other terminals. It was too big, and far too impersonal. Finally, because the lounge was so big, they didn't bother announcing when you needed to leave for your flight like they do in the T4 lounge. And I left from the B-gates, so another 400 mile walk, with a billion escalators, to get to an underground train that goes every 10 minutes and takes you 10 yards, before going back up a billion escalators ready for another 400 mile walk.

    It is pretty obvious that T5 has been designed to maximise the number of passengers around the stores in the terminal. It is pretty clear that the terminal is pointlessly big, and that instead of having a vast terminal with satellites, they should have built 3 or 4 small terminals - a bit like the lots of small terminals model at JFK for example. Instead we have a monster terminal that is just too big for anything to work in it. If they make me start handing over fingerprints there I'll stop flying BA.

  13. Mister Cheese

    Here's a novel suggestion

    Why don't they check that the name on the passport/permitted photo-id actually matches the name on the boarding-pass? Absolutely zero need to throw money at a non-problem. Or ankle-tag (or wrist-tag) everyone that comes into the airport, and remove it at the gate. Or write the flight-number on their forehead in UV-readable ink at check-in.

    I think it all comes down to the fact that we're probably the only country on the planet that doesn't check passports on exit.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @Ratz Re: petition the PM

    I'd sign it, but then they'll know I'm with the resistance.

  15. M Room
    Paris Hilton


    For the purpose of ticket switch it would be quite simple to "stamp" the back of the hand with "invisible" ink of passengers with their ticket number (and another code) which means that the hand has to go with the ticket. That way there would be no objection on the ID side of things and a reasonable standard of checking would be enabled. Probably too simple to implement or should I say too cheap and therefore not enough profit to be made.

    Paris because she has probably seen this in use in quite a few nightclubs in her time.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Petition the PM on this

    Best laugh I've had all day.

    Don't you realise the site was set up to find out which government department could ignore more people.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Technically incompetent

    Unless they are going to collect "rolled fingerprints" like the police the idea of matching to crime prints or whatever is a non-starter, unless they want to arrest hundreds of "suspects" every day. Even then the chances of false positives is significant unless all 10 fingers are taken, which would cause queues that made air travel virtually impossible.

    This is another "seen to be doing something" idea which will not work.

    Many airports already use photos for gate checking, it does work and takes virtually no extra time, so what's the real reason for wanting fingerprints?

  18. Graeme Sutherland

    RE: beat the rush

    Since I'm already outside of Blighty, I've really beaten the rush. :)

  19. Hollerith

    vote economically

    I am happy not to go into the lounge aka shopping area at all if it means I can refuse to be fingerprinted. The joy of an airport mall is not worth me handle my biometrics over. Can we insist on being escorted to the gate immediately, so as not to be daubed? If we tell airports that we will not fly via those what daub us? What civil disobedience can we do?

  20. Grant

    Thin end of the wedge

    Most flights I have taken with a transfer involve showing the passport and boarding card immediately prior to boarding the plane each time, even when there is a connecting flights section or a proper secure transit area with no domestic/international mingling. In fact Sydney has a secure transit area with a full x-ray/swabbing screening process in it! That takes long enough as it is, add fingerprinting and the time taken to check back to see if the person entered the area (and what passport/boarding card they used) and it will take forever to get on board. No doubt claims will be made that a biometric ID card would solve this, although you would still have to fingerprinted...

    Which makes me wonder if this is linked to the fact that a lot of US airports don't have a transit area or int'l/domestic distinction and they are actively fingerprinting people already?

    Sticky jam bun just before boarding?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Come in number 6.......

    When you arrive you get a boarding pass. Web cam on desk. Photo on boarding pass. Job done.

    Soooo difficult to do, even my old gym had this technology 5 years ago.

    Then again, how are we supposed to fund the boys a few billion to implement this.

  22. Martin Silver badge

    Isn't this dead easy?

    Issue boarding pass on wrist-strap, which can't be removed except by cutting.

    Confirm on entrance to plane.

    Job done. No need for fingerprints.

    How hard was that?

  23. Martin Silver badge

    @Maybe a sign of shit architecture?

    >just re-model it to keep dom / int'l passengers apart

    Remember the point of theT5 shopping centre is to get domestic passengers to wander around expensive shops for 3hours as well - you don't want them stuck in an area with only WHSmith and tie-rack.

  24. Stu_The_Jock

    Security Checks

    Surely the idea of the "Security Checks" are to make sure that no one that is a "known risk" should be flying on either a domestic OR an international flight. After all it's still dead people if you blow up a London Edinburgh flight, same as on a London paris flight.

    In order to "switch tickets" you'd need 2 people with tickets in matching names, as they are checked at gate, and SHOULD be checked against photo ID for boarding. So assuming you made it through to there what's the problem ?

    Also by this point you've been through the "security net" and had all dangerous soft drings, makeup, sharp pencils, etc removed from you and your luggage has been screened for bombs (Oddly given how often I fly with a stack of electricals in my case it's never been opened to look at them, yes I know how I pack the spagetti of leads) So I can't see any benefit of taking prints at security / Checkin and the gate. What MIGHT be an idea is that when you check in you cannot re-mix with the "rabble" and go out another way to security directly.

  25. Dave


    Now if they wanted to set up a scheme to fingerprint US citizens on entry I don't think we'd object to that, seeing as that's what they do to us. Brazil got it right on this one.

  26. Matthew Hale

    @ Colin

    Hohoho...very good...

  27. Anonymous Coward

    camel straw back busted

    Time to go

  28. Frederick Karno
    Thumb Up

    easy solution

    dont fly from heathrow when booking a flight.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Howto: fight back against

    Seeing as the neo-labour government doesn't listen to the individual, but does listen to business (like the fascists that they are), I propose something like the following civil disruption:

    When you've got a couple of hours spare, go to a travel agents and go through the motions of booking a very expensive holiday a good 12+ months away... of course, resist giving personal details, although this will be what they want from you straight away, so it might be best to be prepared with some fake details.

    Then, bring up the subject of fingerprints. Refuse to do any business if the travel agent cannot promise that you will not be fingerprinted: a promise they cannot make, especially further into the future. And interrogate the travel agent about what airports are scanning people, what ports etc.. Even if they don't know, it will help spread the cause to people who witness what goes on in the shop, and even make the staff aware of the part they are playing in the errosion of our liberties.

    Once the travel agents feel they are losing business because of the prospect of their customers being treated like animals, the pressure will move onto the government in a way that is good for everyone.

  30. John Buckman

    RE: beat the rush

    Hmph, I was planning for job-related reasons on waiting until mid-2011 before emigrating, but I may have to bring it forward, and suffer reduced job prospects overseas as a result.

    I don't think this scheme alone would make me do that, but I'm certainly keeping my eye very closely on the ball. Will it be too late by 2011?

    (I get the impression that things are quite a bit worse here than they are in the US...)

  31. Gavin Nottage

    UK Road Deaths

    AC above said: "But 10,000 people A YEAR are killed on the UK's roads"

    No, in 2007 road deaths have dropped under 3000. Still too many, and your point is very valid, just check the facts...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Petition the PM on this

    A fat lot of good it will do - I still signed up - but these c***s that we have in power at the moment will never change anything for the better.

    1. They believe that they are never wrong (HMRC, NHS IT, ID Cards, Biometrics, RFID Cards in Passports, 42 Days)

    2. Everyone will always tow the party line irrespective of dictates of common sence

    3. They will never give a straight answer

    4. They will always spin any answers that are given

    5. They never take any responsibility for their numerous f***-ups

    6. And they are behaving in exactly the same way as the previous Conservative government was behaving during their last days in government.

    Given that between the and, they are trying to rule the World, I'm wondering where anyone can run to escape them...

  33. fred

    Won't go back even for cash.

    I have already left the country, but regrettfully I still have a lot of stuff in a friend's loft, which I shall have to pickup within the next few years, but thankfully, courier companies help here.

  34. James Anderson
    Thumb Down

    re Proportionate . . . I don't think so.

    The actual figure for road deaths last year was a tad under 3000.

    Given that every single terrorist incident dominate the headlines for weeks I would say 1000 was an overestimate for deaths caused by terrorism in the last thirty years for the mainland UK.

    While the casualties were higher in NI its difficult to distinguish between terrorist victims, deaths from conficts between various terrorist groups and "disiplinary" actions within terrorist groups.

    Perhaps more significantly apart from two sadly incompatent dimwits at Glasgow airport there have been zero (0) avaition related victims of terrorism in the UK - ever. So what excatly are we being protected against?

    As far as I can work out the most serious danger is having Niomi Campbell spit at you -- but you have to buy a fisrt class ticket for that.

  35. when_the_sh*t_hits_the_fanboi

    @Ratz: Petition the PM on this

    Have forwarded your link to the usual suspects. Don't think these things do any good in themselves, but you never know.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC: I'm outta here in less than 60 days

    There could be another 42 yet...

  37. Suntan

    @AC Beat the rush

    88 days left in blighty for me. Its been a long time planning but will soon be bidding farewell.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Where to go?

    OK you're going to leave to escape the Labour Nazi's, but where to go? This seems to be a global phenomena

  39. alain williams Silver badge

    What was that threat again ?

    How many times has this ''loophole'' been exploited ? The response to a threat need to be commensurate with the actual risk. This is just an excuse to fingerprint lots of people.

    Anyone want to run a book on how long before this data ends up being shared with the cops -- all in the name of stopping terrorists and paedophiles of course!

  40. Ferry Boat

    Smile at T1

    I flew out of Heathrow Terminal 1 last week. Everyone was photographed before going through security. The photo was checked when you went to the domestic/Channel Islands/Ireland departure gates. They checked your passport and boarding pass too. Not sure what benefit the photo gives to that process.

  41. Gilbert Wham

    Hang on...

    Isn't this already addressed by *having people's names on the fucking tickets*? Jesus christ on a bike.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @it gets worse by Tony

    "I wonder if in a year's time, they will try to change the law to allow themselves to remain in power past the 5 year limit?"

    And what will you do if they "try" it?

    Parliament makes the laws, nobody else.

    The House of Commons has to pass a new 'law' by majority - NuLabour still have one (but all we need is a few more by-elections;-)

    The House of Lords ratifies that the new 'law' is good for the country and should be passed to the Statute books - or not, one would hope, for something like this idea - with the result that if the HoL doesn't like it, it goes bak to the HoC for "editting" or just gets binned.

    Oh, except Blair gave us the Parliament Act and now there's nothing to stop Brown pushing through anything he likes, regardless of what the Lords say...

    And if that one doesn't work (but I can't see any way it could fail), all he needs to do is claim it is for Security Reasons (ie part of The War On Terrorism) and nobody in the HoC would dare disagree, and probably not even question him...

    Must dash, I hear a black helicopter overhea......f; gjhlhj qwju <...carrier lost>

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re:Smile at T1

    "I flew out of Heathrow Terminal 1 last week. Everyone was photographed before going through security. The photo was checked when you went to the domestic/Channel Islands/Ireland departure gates. They checked your passport and boarding pass too. Not sure what benefit the photo gives to that process."

    The photo was taken to be added to yet another database so that the state have an additional photo of you which they know is you. They know that your appearence was how it is in the photo as of a certain date.... maybe the people applying for passports recently have been taking the piss with their appearence..... I did.

    When I renewed my passport last year, I had not had a shave or haircut for over 6 months. I also read all the rules about passport photos and found in the instructions for photographers that black and white photos are allowed, so my RFID bigbrother-ready passport has a photo in that looks like it was taken in the early 1970s. I also got the place that took the passport photo to put a copy of the file on a USB stick for me, so in the future I will never have to have a photo taken for stuff like passport and licences, I can just provide exactly the same one they already have.

    I do think that given enough time, budget, computing power and photos of individuals, an organisation would be able to build up a very accurate profile of your face..... just perfect to be plugged into the CCTV systems.

    I used my comedy passport in February, and on the way back into the country through Gatwick the guy checking passports really looked confused. I just said "don't worrk mate, it is me", smiled, and he immediately gave the passport back and waved me through..... so even with all this tech a little bit of social engineering would probably work wonders if you wanted to exploit the passport checking.

  44. Guy Herbert

    Not quite that bad

    "Oh, except Blair gave us the Parliament Act and now there's nothing to stop Brown pushing through anything he likes, regardless of what the Lords say..."

    I think you'll find it was Asquith and Attlee who gave us the Parliament Acts. The Parliament Acts cannot be used to extend the life of a parliament, so to do what you suggest would require using the Parliament Acts to amend the Parliament Acts to remove that exception, or the Lords' veto altogether. There probably isn't enough time or unthinking lobby fodder left in this parliament to do that. The present Government has worked steadily at tilting the balance of the constitution for 11 years, and it has attempted to make slavish loyalty the principal virtue of MPs, but there really isn't a majority on the Labour benches who would back an obvious attempt at a coup.


    The point to notice is that this is the *Home Office* trying to take advantage of HMG's incredible weakness and suggestibility to ram through ever more authoritarian measures before someone gets a grip.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Where to go?

    South Korea, Philopeans, Japan, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, to name a few, some may not be quite as "democratic(funny word in the face of British current political state)" but at least you know what you're getting into and they tend not to BS you as much. Maybe South America somewhere, Canada... there are a good few places really.

    And they tend to operate on more of a "you can be as odd as you like, just don't mess with the government" kind of vibe. Where as in the UK you best comply to the Parties accepted norms or they'll lock you up.

    And at least the girls are prettier.

  46. Britt Johnston
    IT Angle

    on the contrary

    If there is a problem mixing passengers for domestic and and international flights, wouldn't a more direct solution be to use separate terminals?

    On a personal note, there is a chink in the armour: come to England, and stay, or blow yourself up first. There are no fingerprints on the way in. I might retire, and buy one of the cheap houses in the panic sale.

    The Germans have a nice new twist, they will introduce e-ID cards by 2012, and fingerprints are optional, in the premium version only. Carrots and sticks have not yet been anounced.

  47. Mike Richards

    @ Anonymous Coward

    'Oh, except Blair gave us the Parliament Act '

    Actually though they're the sort of law that would give him wet dreams, Blair got beat to it - twice, once in 1911 and once in 1949. However New Labour have abused the two Parliament Acts and used them far more than any other government.

    Labour is also committed to further reducing the power of the Lords should it be re-elected, further tipping powers towards the executive in the Commons.

    As for extending the life of a Parliament...

    The Parliament Act 1911 set the term to a maximum of five years, but that is not absolute. A series of acts passed in the Second World War extended Parliament for a maximum of ten years on the grounds that an election would be a distraction and potentially divisive during a crisis.

    So a government could introduce a bill that struck down all or part of the Parliament Act 1911 and simply declare a new maximum term (we've had maximum terms of both three and seven years in the past); or they could try and declare a situation so serious that an election wasn't in the country's best interests.

    I'd hope that there are still enough members of the Parliamentary Labour Party that neither of those are a goer.

  48. Nomen Publicus


    I'm at a loss to understand what threat this stupid idea is intended to resolve.

    The 10% of the population without clear fingerprints will have to be treated as exceptions somehow, which is going to reduce the flow of people through the airport to a trickle.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Where to go? re Canada

    Traditionally, the government of Canada has been interested mainly in lining the pockets of the party in power and their henchmen and hangers-on. Governing the country runs a distant second. Hence we have a lot of laws on the books that are really just window dressing.

    The net effect is a rather lazy, good-for-nothing, laissez-faire anarchy where no one gets very excited about much of anything at all. Generally speaking, a pleasant way of life, where true excitement is, as in Victorian times, discovering that another strawberry ripened overnight.

    But not all is parka-clad doziness. Reading between the lines of decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, I conclude that the justices of the court are very slowly inching their way toward a legal doctrine that any law without a *compelling* public interest at stake is ultra vires. I anticipate that sooner or later, the SC of Canada will hold that laws against recreational drugs are an unwarranted erosion of the right to get looped however you please.

    It's already a good place to live if you like to smoke the evil weed, btw. You ain't smoked nothin' 'til your fingertips start to tingle after inhalation.

    Such is life in the howling frozen wastes of the great white north.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    stinking sinking ship

    "...I'm out May next year, hopefully I'll slip under the wire..."

    "...I'm outta here in less than 60 days..."

    "...Hmph, I was planning for job-related reasons on waiting until mid-2011 before emigrating, but I may have to bring it forward..."

    "...88 days left in blighty for me. Its been a long time planning but will soon be bidding farewell...."

    got any room for a passenger? - i'll chip in for petrol money!

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just for more profit for BAA

    The reason fingerprinting is necessary is because BAA wants to save costs & increase revenuse by "mixing" passengers in a common retail area.

    Force the buggers to build separate areas, then fingerprinting is unnecessary.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's so stupid it's BRILLIANT

    This would have to be the stupidest move, at the stupidest time, especially for Brown. So stupid in fact a thought crossed my mind.

    Maybe Jacqui Smith is getting revenge for Blair? Think about it, she was the only minister from Blair he kept in office to smooth transition. Her department is the Home Office and the stupiest stuff keeps coming from the Home Office. She's the last of the Blair loyalists. She was transitionary, which means she's due to get booted from office presumably soon, she's been made to defend the most unpopular laws, stuff that hung over from Blairs reign of nannyism. She must know she's virtually unemployable/unelectable at this point, so she has nothing to lose.

    To do this at this time, right when Labour MPs are calling for Brown to step down, she must know they'll be a reaction, she really can't be *that* stupid! And to force fingerprinting onto people right now, by trying to use rules to force the airlines to introduced it around Parliament. That's sure to piss off a lot of Labour MPs.

  53. Tony

    @ AC

    "And what will you do if they "try" it?"

    Good question.

    I was brought up to believe in obeying the law; I would never have thought about doing something that would be wrong and the thought of having a criminal record was repugnant to me.

    In the 60's, 70's & 80's I watched protesters fighting with the police and couldn't help but feel they were wrong. However, I am beginning to wonder if I need to reconsider my views - perhaps there are occasions when the risk to oneself is the lesser problem and it becomes necessary to actively resist an injustice.

    Time to start brushing up on my protest chants!

  54. Andy Livingstone

    Travel Fingerprinting

    Those new boxes being positioned on the slip-roads for it true that they are for fingerprinting to gain access?

  55. xjy

    US lack of transit

    I was shocked passing thru Newark on my way back to Europe from Brazil. No transit facilities between terminals! Which meant I had to leave the airport and enter the US in order to get from my arrival terminal to my departure terminal. I was fuming at having to wade thru the cesspool. Instead I should have just buggered off into the hinterland and hitched to California, dug up some gold, and made myself a new life.

    I'm already out, but this is a pan-European-Fortress thing, so it's next to impossible for some of my best friends to visit me here in Schengenland (non-EU Europeans, Asians, Africans, etc). Free movement of capital, including weapons a lot more deadly than knives, but no free movement for individuals - as anyone trying to cross borders in the EU without a passport will know.

    Last trip out of Heathrow (T5) I was very proud of myself - not a thing bought in the "tax-free" area. My other experiences there I've mentioned in a previous comment.

    (Heart cos I loves the guvermint and the Interier Mistery, onist ocifer!)

    (They're coming to take me away, ha ha!!)

  56. J


    "For the purpose of ticket switch it would be quite simple to "stamp" the back of the hand with "invisible" ink of passengers with their ticket number (and another code)"

    And then we'd see a market for swappable hands flourish...

  57. J
    Black Helicopters

    It's just...

    It's just "them" trying to get you guys slowly but surely prepared for the wonderful new world of the RFID implant what will make it oh-so-easy to separate the terrorist pedophile from the honest citizen who has nothing to hide (and therefore would never oppose such an honorable scheme, would you?). Yep, the terrorists have won; but someone else is profiting just fine too.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @It's so stupid it's BRILLIANT

    Things to bear in mind old chap -

    There will be no leadership contest in the labour party becouse

    a: nobody wants the Job.

    b: doing so would almost certainly force a general election.

    c: there really isn't another member of the cabinet suitable in the eyes of most of the party.


    Labour are going to lose the next general election in the same spectacular fashion as John Major lost This of course shall not be a good thing. Even though it will seem so at the time and possibly for the first few years of the tories first term. Becouse a party with an overwhelming majority shall inevitably feel empowered to enforce its own doctrine. Also it shall become equally desperate to maintain power

    just as Labour have through spin, paranoia and fear.

    So first labour will be in power for another 2 years doing whatever they like.

    Second the tories shall decimate the labour party at the next election but shall ultimately continue down a very similar path fueled by tabloid extremism and personal opinion. (re things like porn, games, films, alchole intake, patio heaters.)

    Meh, give it a year or two and I'll be joining the above out of this hole.

  59. David

    Backhanders? Corruption?

    I'm starting to wonder if security companies are paying politicians or senior civil servants to get them to invest vast amounts of tax payers money in these plainly stupid systems that achieve nothing other than like some IT company's pockets.

    I mean this stuff is only a small step away from requiring implanted RFID tags or something.

    It's really gone too far.

    There is never any cost benefit analysis, just lash huge amounts of money into invasive systems that scan people / monitor people which are being used simply because they exist.

    I really can't see any benefits. They're spending vast amounts of OUR money to make our lives miserable everytime we want to go through an airport.

    A couple of terrorists attacks and they basically roll back all of our civil liberties. In that case, the terrorists have won!!

  60. Graham Marsden

    Not clear why...?

    > Later, it may also be used at some ports and the Channel Tunnel, although it's not at the moment particularly clear why.

    Oh it's very clear, it's to get us all used to the idea, so when they change the rules and decide that this data *won't* be destroyed at the end of the day, but will be added to the United Kingdom Guarding Borders database (nice one Colin Millar!) we're supposed to say "well, it's not going to do any harm is it...?" as the sheeple ignore another freedom disappear down the drain...

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Aviation-related terrorism victims in the UK.

    James Anderson said 'Perhaps more significantly apart from two sadly incompatent dimwits at Glasgow airport there have been zero (0) avaition related victims of terrorism in the UK - ever.'. He's obviously never heard of Pan-Am flight 103 which exploded over Lockerbie on 21/12/88. 270 people died. Fuckwit.

  62. Trix

    The US haven't had international transit for years

    ...and it drives me nuts, since to travel to Canada or, say, Mexico by the most logical route means I'd have to get fingerprinted en route. I don't want to do any goddamned shopping if I'm trying to get somewhere else.

    I've been avoiding the US since they introduced the fingerprinting regime - I certainly don't want the UK to go the same way.

  63. Mark
    Thumb Down

    Shock: AC ignorant fuckwit!

    When was lockerbie? More than 10years ago? Then it doesn't add a single death to the number dead in the past 10 years, does it.

  64. TeeCee Gold badge

    @AC Re: T5

    Hmm, sounds like Schipol which, for some odd reason is always held up as a shining example of how an International airport should be.

    A typical Schipol International to domestic xfer involves *four* (count 'em) security checks and a 2km *walk* (no travelators, little trains or whatever here) through the worlds largest shopping mall, before ending up in something that looks like a cross between an Inquisition dungeon and a northern British city bus terminal.

    Presumably everyone who's said how wunnerful it is likes a good walk, is fit, ejoys shopping, gets a kick out of stony faced, uniformed types inspecting their documentation and likes to have a 1960s brutalist concrete/plastic environment to look forward to at the end of it all.

    Oh and if you want to know where your luggage went, write a list of world airports on a piece of paper and chuck a dart at it blindfold. You'll be wrong, but at least you'll have a f***ing clue, which is more than Schipol baggage handling will.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Aviation-related terrorism victims in the UK

    That was an American plane that as I recall started it's journey from Germany where the bomb was smuggled on and simply stopped over in the UK to pick up more passengers? So I doubt that can be counted as UK related. I can't say there hasn't been any but I think that is not a good example.

  66. James Pickett


    C'mon guys - what about the theft of blank passports and visas destined for foreign embassies, and rather foolishly described by the Home Office as unhackable? I thought you'd be first with story like that...

  67. Tim Schomer
    Paris Hilton

    There's an old saying...

    That goes something like 'This is just the thin end of the wedge'. Don't think I really need to explain that one.

    Paris 'cos she's been wedged a few times I expect.

  68. David

    @stinking sinking ship et al

    I got out 17 years ago. Spain is still reasonably OK, and the girls are indeed prettier (and the beer cheaper (though catching up)). Too much sun though, and we don't really get enough snow and rain here in Valencia. Still, you can't have everything, can you?.

    I really don't know what you are all waiting for.

  69. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @stinking sinking ship et al

    If I have to mod one more tiresome comment about emigrating/having emigrated/threatening to emigrate then I'm going to... I dunno, emigrate? Or just swear at you.

    I'd much rather stay here and face whatever challenges may come than end up trapped somewhere else surrounded by unbearably smug ex-pats. I find Brighton hard enough to stomach to that end.

  70. Nano nano
    Thumb Down

    Why Gordon Brown is unpopular

    Could it have anything to do with this continuing obsession on getting us all "pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed ...".

    No wonder they voted SNP - wanted out of all this nonsense.

    Oh, and they seem to be 'biometricing' people anyhow at Heathrow - was going through there a few weeks ago and had to stare into a camera without my glasses, was then issued with a barcode :(

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re:Re: @stinking sinking ship et al

    Why move into an ex-pat community? I couldn't think of anything worse. Well... I can - just about. I mean you emigrate to live in a new culture and gain new experiances - it's a bit pointless if you move into an area full of ex-pats.

    A bit like going on holiday to tourist spots *yawn* bored now T_T;;

  72. David
    Thumb Up

    Re:Re: @stinking sinking ship et al

    I don't really know any ex-pats at all. There is one English woman I know, vaguely, but I haven't seen her in a year or so.

    Ex-pats who only hang around with other ex-pats are, as Sarah says, unbearably smug gits.

    I only keep on mentioning emigrating in these threads to piss you all off a little more.


  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh to live in the USA

    where they don't bother with things like the Information Commissioner and just introduce these things.

    They should just get on with it because once the yanks have get fingerprinted here, they'll get upset because they come from the land of the free or something and have all these useful amendments to quote... then the PM of the day will worry about US tourists staying away and it'll get binned.

  74. Schultz

    Someone wants your fingerprints badly...

    and I bet they find a way to get them. Fingerprints must be the ideal tool to hunt terrorists: enough random positives to keep the investigating officer interested if only the database is large enough.

    Glad I don't live on an island, must be a paranoid feeling if everybody knows everything about you.

  75. Bob. Hitchen
    Black Helicopters


    Er it would be open season on labour MP's. The odd accident here and there would soon adjust the balance. No need to waste the tossers just detain then under their terrorism law.

  76. Nano nano


    What are these ex-pats anyhow - people who used to be called Patrick ?

  77. Andrew Miller

    @stinking sinking ship et al

    Do not castigate the Ex Pats, We may have to come back and sort out the mess sometime...or act from the Outside of the fortress for the benefit of those within - I still have relatives in the UK

  78. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Say , didn't a certain central European country impose rigorous checks for local citizens to leave the country after 1933 and then the hammer came down for the numerous usual suspects to be interned indefinitely or other reasons of state security and whose more liberal views tended to hold against the idea of big brother the bully boy running both the government and police of the day !

    SS Great Britain , is now full steam ahead to a replay of events of that fatal summer of 1933 and a new revised version of self created hell for it's residents !

    But there is always the "Paris Option" catch the fast boat train ferry or the fiery chunnel train and not suffer the dreaded T5 syndrome and to leave is in the reverse order from whence ye came ! I am sure the froggies would not mind a few more transit tourists traipsing across the rolling green country side either spending the odd Euro or two on the way too and from the newly created prison islands , little wonder those north of the "Hadrian Line" can't wait to leave either !

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