back to article Govt suggests Brits should hand passports to social media companies

The British government has suggested its citizens should hand their passports over to Facebook as a condition for using the service. The country's forthcoming Online Safety Bill will require citizens to hand over even more personal data to largely foreign-headquartered social media platforms, government minister Nadine Dorries …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

    I won't hand over any of that sort of information to any site. F the site and F + F the government.

    Still, if this is limited to MSSM, then I'm cool as I have never signed up for any of them. That said, I fear that this will become the norm for all sites.

    MSSM == Main Stream Social Media.

    1. Adelio Silver badge

      Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

      As i basically do NOT use social media It will not affect me. What annoys me is EVERY site wanting me to login to access, this is getting me p***sed off.

      Having to remember possible multiple tens or even hundreds of user id and passwords is just mad...

      1. JakeMS

        Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

        Sounds like you need a password manager for all those logins. Personally I'd recommend KeePassXC, served me well for years. :-)

      2. Outski Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

        i basically do NOT use social media

        Aside from commenting on website fora, that is

    2. hoola Silver badge

      Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

      This is just insanity, they probably already have the information but not necessarily all joined up. This is Facebook, Twitter etc wet dream.

      I would not trust them with anything, Facebook has repeatedly showed that it believes that it can operate outside of any regulation and authorities appear powerless to bring them to account.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

        Do want to say you can still use and make anonymous accounts, you can opt in to use ID but its likely most wont.

    3. Infused

      Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

      That does seem likely from what I've read. Every website will have to prove they're child-friendly or establish the age of their users.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

        That unlikely to happen.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

      Thing is they are not going to force ID on you, you can still use and make anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts. its going to be a opt in thing and its likely most will not opt in.

      The article make it sound like it will be mandatory when its not.

      1. jgard

        Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

        Thanks for the clarification, Boris.

    5. Dom D

      Re: 'F' that for a game of 'where's my directorship'?

      This comments section is "social media"....and the law will apply to it too.

  2. JakeMS
    Mushroom

    Crazy Idea

    This will sound absolutely crazy but, if you disagree with handing your passport or other identifying documents to the social media giants but are being forced to because of this law.. there's a simple solution.

    When asked to hand over the docs, don't do it. Simply stop using the platform.

    It's crazy I know, but you only have to hand over those docs if you continue to use the service.

    Don't use it? Crazy right?

    1. m4r35n357

      Re: Crazy Idea

      Oh YES, I want _so_ badly for them to do this!

    2. Roger Kynaston Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Crazy Idea

      It would be great to do this. Facefail and the rest need to die - at least in their current form.

      The problem is that if you want to promote anything you have to sup with the devil.

      My Wife has an indie published book out and the only tools for promoting it are the above mentioned evil corps.

      This creates a problem as the accounts are in the name of her pen name rather than her actual name. How do you allow such promotional work while requiring people not to 'hide' behind fake IDs?

      Typical stupidity of our benighted government!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Crazy Idea

        Thing is they are not going to force you to use a ID to use social media, you can still use anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

        Its likely most will not opt in.

        1. trindflo Bronze badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Crazy Idea

          As near as I can tell you are mistaken. There is no requirement today, but they are talking about what to add in the next legislation.

        2. jgard

          Re: Crazy Idea

          You again Boris?

      2. salerio

        Re: Crazy Idea

        Which you said on a social medial account. Ironic

    3. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: Crazy Idea

      Of course I don't use social media. However, if I set up a local club of, say, steam railway enthusiasts or something, there is no legal or social pressure for people to identify themselves to join. They can pay their dues (in cash if they like) and attend meetings, and use any name they like (or none at all). And can enjoy the social interactions, lively discussions and disagreements, share cars to drive to days out, etc. All without any needs to provide any identity information if they like.

      That is part of the British way of life - we do not require ID for any normal purposes, and there is no stigma around not carrying or showing any ID.

      So, now, if my railway group wants to put up a web page and allow people to continue the discussions online between meetings, do I suddenly need to start collecting ID? What the hell?

      Why do you think I should be prevented from engaging in online social activity just because I won't identify myself?

      This isn't just about Facebook, etc - this can prevent all social gathering.

      1. Infused

        Re: Crazy Idea

        The Online Safety Bill has been pitched to the public as holding Big Tech to account, but it really affects the entire internet (gaming, messaging apps, search engines, etc.) The only real exemptions (as far as I can tell) are the government & newspapers (which tells you a lot about which interest groups lie behind it). A lot of these kinds of small websites (e.g. hobby discussion groups that aren't hosted on a major site like Facebook) are likely to disappear as a result due to the compliance threshold. It seems to me ID checks will become the norm for accessing any kind of content. Overall the British internet will become less user-friendly by design.

        1. Abominator

          Re: Crazy Idea

          As long as my kids can still read the Daily Hate online. Or not hopefully.

          Got to protect the interests of government donors and the liar journalists turned politicians in government.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Crazy Idea

        "if I set up a local club of, say, steam railway enthusiasts or something"

        If you allow unaccompanied minors to join/attend, then you will almost certainly need at least someone to be responsible for safeguarding and be DBS cleared. Even without minors, if the club needs a bank account, or maybe some kinds of insurance, then you start interacting with officialdom that needs ID. Keep it small and informal, and you might be ok.

    4. Michael B.

      Re: Crazy Idea

      No, because what is the definition of social media. Are El Reg comments counted as social media for the purposes of this law? Even if you dislike Facebook et al this could have very dangerous consequences.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Crazy Idea

        El Reg is definitely "media"

        I like to think we are a pretty social bunch, so ...

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Crazy Idea

          I think we can easily draw a distinction between a media outlet that allows commentary on its content which is presented under its editorially approved policies, and a social media company where anybody can contribute any content they like and decide their own levels of privacy.

          For example, I can’t just post a picture of my food and a story about my visit to Wagamama on The Register and then decide which other commentards to follow whilst controlling which ones are allowed to see it. The primary content is under control of the editors. So this, “ahh but you are posting on here so you do use social media” is twattish.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Crazy Idea

            Do want to say they are not going to force ID on you, you can still use and make anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts. its going to be a opt in thing and its likely most will not opt in.

            The article make it sound like it will be mandatory when its not.

    5. Dom D

      Re: Crazy Idea

      That would include this comments section. :-(

  3. Khaptain

    Very very bad idea

    The main stream media dictators are not currently well known for handling informations a civil and respected manner. And the govt wants to give the more ?

    In such a case one must ask oneself , what's in it for the govt ?

    You cannot trust Social Media sites with all your information! it's just giving them the means to bite you over and over again. Rabid Dogs are less dangerous...

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Very very bad idea - Meta bad

      "what's in it for the govt ?"

      Meta jobs and meta money for you and your friends.

      Another demonstration of Whatever Zuck Wants, Zuck Gets.

    2. Persona Silver badge

      Re: Very very bad idea

      what's in it for the govt

      They get strong user verification for social media users implemented without having to do anything other than issue passports, for which they charge handsomely.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Very very bad idea

        It's worth noting that about a quarter of UK people don't hold a passport. I'm not sure if that figure includes all UK citizens or just those over 18. A proportion of those will also not have a driving licence (and IIRC, the percentage of people holding a driving licence is reducing slightly)

        I wonder how many of those would be prepared to pay the costs of acquiring a passport or driving licence just to be allowed to use Facebook/Twitter/Et al?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very very bad idea

      Just want to say they are not going to force ID on you, you can still use and make anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

      Its likely most will not opt in.

  4. Mr Sceptical
    Facepalm

    Yeah sure, what could possibly go wrong with this idea!

    I'll hand my passport over when all government ministers publically post theirs and details of their DOB, mother's maiden name, first pet, first school and all the other 'security questions' commonly asked...

    Idiots!

    1. Infused

      Re: Yeah sure, what could possibly go wrong with this idea!

      I'm pretty sure you can find most of that info on Wikipedia.

  5. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?
    Thumb Up

    Excellent idea...

    ... I needed yet another reason not to use social media

    1. salerio

      Re: Excellent idea...

      Bye

  6. Blackjack Silver badge

    I am sure nothing will go wrong. Is not like these data leaks things happen all the time nowadays, right?

  7. Wyrdness

    I don't even trust Farcebook with my real name. I certainly wouldn't trust them with a copy of my passport. If this became mandatory, then Arsebook would probably lose most of their UK users. Not that would be a bad thing at all.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      they already try to do this...

      I was trying to register with FB once to keep in touch with some friends. I registered, and did a quick search for some friends, meaning to do all of the stuff (however that works with "friending" or whatever) some time soon. I was blocked within a few hours. Maybe because I did not upload a full nude pic of myself, or snaps of my food, or whatever FB is used for (food is Instagram?). The solution offered by FB? Send them a picture of my passport. Yeah, right. I would totally do that (no fscking way!). Nah, it was not my main email address, but a legimate cell phone number (which I thankfully no longer have!).

      1. nonpc

        Re: they already try to do this...

        Years back, as an IT manager/security officer I created a Facebook ID to assess the risks of my users accessing it at work. The first thing it wanted to do was leech my contacts, which I declined. I implemented and enforced a 'no Facebook on company PCs' strategy.

        I tried sometime later to access this account. In order to do so, I then needed to supply more personal information, which I declined to do, in order to unlock the account. I then tried to delete the account, which I could not do unless I provided more personal information, and no, I could not contact anyone without authenticating myself with - more personal information... That was a few less years back. Now I'm retired I might have enough time to tweak the tiger's tail, but I doubt I'd get anywhere.

        A personal bete noire is the use of personal information (mother's maiden name, 1st pets name, school attended etc) as security questions - in order to protect your personal information! The simple solution is to allow you to create a unique security question which will trigger you (and you only) to know what the answer is, and is meaningless to others. Instead we get inanities like 'a significant date' where you have no idea as to what significant date you stated when you set the thing up.

        On one of my past financial cards, transactions had a buried reference of 'fuckknows' because I got presented with a request to enter something... This was apparently unchangeable, and I never was asked for it again!

        No - I see no future in requests for passport information. Perhaps when a full digital ID system has been built and perfected, and run but a reputable and incorruptible authority(!) that may be the answer.

    2. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

      Not really. Those who have understanding will quit, or some at least. (If they truly understand, why are they using it already?) The mundanes will just comply.

      Then comes the inevitable data theft...

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Theft? They are selling the info and claim (state-backed) hackers when there's uproar.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Its not mandatory, you can still use and make anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

      Its likely most will not opt in.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Of course data from a verified ID is more valuable and easy to monetise than an unverified one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          At the end of the day its likely most will keep there account unverified.

  8. sorry, what?
    Facepalm

    Is there an online petition against this stupidity?

    Point me at it and I'll sign. Assuming I don't have to upload proof of identity first, of course.

    1. Infused

      Re: Is there an online petition against this stupidity?

      On the Parliamentary petitions page.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is there an online petition against this stupidity?

      do want to say its not outright ban anonymous accounts but offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

      1. SloppyJesse

        Re: Is there an online petition against this stupidity?

        > do want to say its not outright ban anonymous accounts but offer ways for users to verify their

        > identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive

        > DMs and replies from verified accounts.

        The argument for ID appears to be "(troll) can create an anonymous account and send nasty content to (target)".

        If it will work as you suggest then the target would block unverified accounts. The troll would have to verify in order to send content so, in theory, could be traced and investigated for illegality. But any other person would also have to verify to communicate with the target. If public figures like MPs turn on verification it becomes mandatory for their constituents if they want to use social media as a channel.

        Either no one will turn it on - net effect zero

        Public figures and companies turn it on - Joe public is forced to verify in order to interact - removing one of the few goods that social media has provided[1] and handed more valuable/sensitive data to private data harvesters.

        Either way it seems a very poorly thought out response to the problem.

        [1] I've found social media an effective channel to communicate with local council and companies. Let's faced it you can't actually phone the council anymore but they do read twitter.

  9. teebie

    There was a supporter of this on daytime TV talking about how this was a good thing, because it would have allowed the police to track down her stalker quicker. Nobody raised the point that, after the first breach or insider attack, the measure would also make it easier to find stalkees.

  10. alain williams Silver badge

    They want a passport ...

    I suspect that any passport will do. How do they verify that the passport that I give them is mine ?

    I think that we should all submit that of Nadine Dorries or Nick Clegg - depending on which gender we decide that we want to be today.

    Like that we would stop SM sites from data mining our passports & joining up everything we do on-line; before it all goes AWOL in a huge data breach or is sold to some future Cambridge Analytica.

    1. Mr Sceptical
      Gimp

      Re: They want a passport ...

      I identify as an iPhone - who's pic should I use?

      Icon for the PFY -->

      1. BenDwire Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: They want a passport ...

        I'd suggest one of the Kardashian clan.

        Other reality 'stars' are available ...

    2. Dr. Vagmeister

      Re: They want a passport ...

      I can see this going wrong where Facebook have access to the government gateway or other, to verify the details you have submitted.

      Then, i am sure that the there would be a data mining of the government system to "verify" others not using Facebook as some sort of test, or blatant data extraction.

      Without a government portal, then how can Facebook "confirm" that the passport you have entered is valid ?

      1. Persona Silver badge

        Re: They want a passport ...

        I can see this going wrong where Facebook have access to the government gateway or other, to verify the details you have submitted

        This is not required. The passport can be stand alone electronically validated and the photo compared to live video of the subject.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They want a passport ...

          "[...] and the photo compared to live video of the subject."

          Assuming people have a webcam. There are savages living outside the walled gardens

          1. Persona Silver badge

            Re: They want a passport ...

            Mobile phones are quite popular these days. For social media users a conservative guess is that 99% of adults will have a smart phone. Even if you don't have one the chances are you know someone who could let you use theirs to verify as id. This is exactly what I need to do with my mum to set up investment accounts.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: They want a passport ...

              Thing is they are not going to force to use a passport to use social media, you can still use anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts. it will be opt in.

              Its likely most will not opt in.

              1. khinch

                Re: They want a passport ...

                The article states:

                "The British government has suggested its citizens should hand their passports over to Facebook as a condition for using the service."

                ... and...

                "The country's forthcoming Online Safety Bill will require citizens to hand over even more personal data to largely foreign-headquartered social media platforms, government minister Nadine Dorries has declared."

                Doesn't sound much like an opt-in to me. Sounds more like the only opt-out is not to use the service.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: They want a passport ...

                How many times are you going to cut and paste this?

            2. Toni the terrible

              Re: They want a passport ...

              I don't think 99% of adults have a smartphone, I know many who don't. Some don't even have a mobile at all.

              Is this another way of forcing people to get a smartphone by limiting access until they do? To be paranoid; to fill the coffers of the tech companies and track people even better.

        2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: They want a passport ...

          Giving Facebook a passport AND a live video selfie is not reassuring.

          1. Infused

            Re: They want a passport ...

            Biometrics of your face is what Yoti are using to verify porn users' faces.

    3. Persona Silver badge

      Re: They want a passport ...

      How do they verify that the passport that I give them is mine

      In exactly the same way banks use passports online to verify their customers identities for the "Know Your Customer" Anti Money Laundering requirements. The passports biometrics are read using a phones NFC and verified. The digital photo is extracted from the biometric data and the phones selfie camera is used to video the user following instructions to look up/down/left/right to build a 3D model of the users face. This is then compared to the 2D face from the passport biometrics and the physical photo from the passport. Whilst it does not stop the verified user handing their login credentials to someone else it does tie the id created to the Government issued passport and presumably only a single id per passport would be required.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They want a passport ...

        You keep assuming that everyone has things like webcams, smartphones, driving licences, and passports. They are all non-essential for a large number of adults.

        1. Giles C Silver badge

          Re: They want a passport ...

          Webcam - not enabled

          Smartphone - yes

          Driving licence - yes

          Passport - it expired 3 years ago and haven’t felt the need to go outside the country so not renewed it

          So as you say not everyone has these things.

          My dad for example has none of them - he gave up his driving license a few years ago and has never had a passport.

          Mind you I doubt he wants to go anywhere near a social media site.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They want a passport ...

            You can still use and make anonymous accounts they are not forcing this on everyone.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's ID cards again isn't it?

    Somewhere somebody has brushed the dust off the old ID-card plans haven't they? I mean, they can't seriously mean that everyone should put their passport details onto the internet. So it must be some other form of "Government-issued ID".

    So the next step will be "We've had a lot of feedback, and passports aren't the right solution. So we'll create another government-issued ID for this proposal."

    And once it's created, and all the Facebook/Twitter addicts have signed up to keep getting their fix, then they can tie the government-issued ID in to state-provided services. All you will need to do is to show your ID on your phone to access them. No smartphone? "No problem, we'll issue a physical card with it on, so you can use that. And if you need to show it to anyone with the lawful authority to demand to see it, then they can scan it, and verify who you are. (See appendix F for the list of all those who will have the lawful authority, and the penalties for refusing to do so when so demanded.)"

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

      They have ID cards in most European countries, but the difference between the ones here and in the UK is that they aren't a vast, we-want-to-know-everything-about-you-and-put-it-in-one-central-database nonsense like they the UK was proposing.

      I honestly can say in the eight or so years I've lived here I've actually used mine maybe three or four times (if you don't count checking my social security number off the back). Actually I've mainly used it so they could look me up on the COVID vaccination database because it also has my NHS number on it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

        They have ID cards in most European countries, but the difference between the ones here and in the UK is that they aren't a vast, we-want-to-know-everything-about-you-and-put-it-in-one-central-database nonsense like they the UK was proposing.

        You sure about that?

        The European Digital Identity will be available to EU citizens, residents, and businesses who want to identify themselves or provide confirmation of certain personal information. It can be used for both online and offline public and private services across the EU.

        Operated via digital wallets available on mobile phone apps and other devices to:

        - identify online and offline

        - store and exchange information provided by governments e.g. name, surname, date of birth, nationality

        - store and exchange the information provided by trusted private sources

        - use the information as confirmation of the right to reside, to work, or to study in a certain Member State

        https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/european-digital-identity_en

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

          "trusted private sources"

          As in "Show me the money!"

          or "Give me the data you hold."

          Pick one, two or both.

          National Registration Act: Repealed 21 Feb 1952. The National Registration number persisted, being used within the National Health Service, for voter registration, and for the National Insurance system.

          The records created under the National Registration Act are held by The National Archives but were not freely accessible to the public for many years. From 2010, subject to restrictions to safeguard the privacy of people who are or may still be living, information could be obtained from the NHS Information Centre about specific individuals for a fee.

          The National Archives has now entered into an agreement under which the original documents for England and Wales have been digitised and scanned and are available (subject to privacy restrictions) on the subscription-based Findmypast and Ancestry.com websites.

          "subject to privacy restrictions" - see top of comment.

          HMG is supposed to be on our side.

        2. Citizen of Nowhere

          Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

          And that has precisely nothing to do with compulsory physical ID cards required by many European nation states. That said, I think it's a tendency of all governments/state machineries to try to get as much information as they can get away with on their citizens. It would be naive to believe they have not already gathered and combined many datasets from our disparate, supposedly discrete "identities" without needing to do it through national ID schemes. While national IDs are not currently all-encompassing data profiles, at least not in most countries in Europe, there will inevitably be a push in that direction by most European states.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

            "there will inevitably be a push in that direction by most European states."

            A number of European States have only relatively recently escaped from all encompassing state surveillance and are unlikely to head back down that route in the near future.

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

        "they aren't a vast, we-want-to-know-everything-about-you-and-put-it-in-one-central-database"

        Of course it's a big database, how else would it work?

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

          Simple - it could be a signed certificate.

          Government creates a CA, then an issuing cert - this signs the certs of local authorities who then sign your ID without ever having to store the details.

          1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

            Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

            "it could be a signed certificate"

            It could be, but in the government implementation you would have to upload your passport in order to get your certificate. And when the local authority authenticates, they get to see your passport.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

              Yes - and they absolutely should get to see it. Else they're just blindly signing certificates.

              What they don't need to do is make a record of all the additional data they collected when issuing certs.

              A list of cert fingerprints and name will be useful to revoke certs as needed (though I can't really see much need - the person who needs their cert revoked can turn up with their ID and their cert and ask for it to be revoked).

              And of course you don't need a single central list of issued certs, each LA will have a record of the certs it's issued, but there whole point of the process is that that data never needs to be shared outside the LA (and such sharing should be explicitly banned). The certificate is valid because it has a signed chain of trust to the root CA, not because it exists in some database.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

      "they can't seriously mean that everyone should put their passport details onto the internet"

      This government? Yeah, they can...

      I am STRONGLY against this even though I avoid the likes of Facebook and the others. Whilst it shouldn't directly affect me, there is the obvious question if it becomes normal for people to hand over their complete identity for social media, at what point will other sites start asking for the same? Online shopping, for instance. And I don't just mean the likes of Amazon and eBay - a fair few of us use online services of supermarkets these days. Would you trust Tesco with your complete identity?

      1. mistersaxon

        Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

        Would you trust *Barclays* with it? They’re all owned by members of the same damned clubs and schools apart from the foreign-owned ones like FB et al and they are all as bad as each other.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

      Thing is they are not going to force ID on you, you can still use anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

      Its likely most will not opt in.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

        This is crap because Faecebook are already demanding passport ID from their moron users.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

          Twitter and others are not.

      2. Steven Burn

        Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

        Ffs, are you getting paid for this? I've lost count of the amount of times you've posted this. RTFA.

  12. Kez

    ""People will now have more control over who can contact them and be able to stop the tidal wave of hate served up to them by rogue algorithms," said Dorries."

    Nice to know that, as ever, legislation is being justified with well-reasoned debate, free from bluster and hyperbole. But won't she think of the children?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Dorries

      ....

      > think

      I found your mistake

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      I wonder if Nodding Doris knows that a different arm of her own government is intent on preventing people being able to challenge the malign effects of rogue algorithms.

      But presumably those particular malign effects feed back into party coffers.

  13. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Remind me

    What planet are we on?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Remind me

      What planet are we on?

      Earth sadly. On daysweeks like this you can understand why Musk wants to bugger off to Mars.

      1. TimMaher Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Mars

        Is there intelligent life on Earth?

        I don't know. I'm just a tourist.

        I'll leave now. I'll get my coat.

  14. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Well unfortunately all those who voted for the Tories to 'Get brexit done' and 'take back control' and other phrases which mean nothing, are now having to live with these clowns and their badly thought out 'won't someone think of the children' policies.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Because Labour never proposed anything as wildly insane, obviously, and the Lib Dems never supported it the same nonsense whenever they had the chance.

      The civil service are the ones pushing all this ID card stuff, otherwise the policies wouldn't remain so consistent over multiple governments of different wings and parties. People allowing themselves to be conned by the superficial political theatre of Parliament is half the reason this country is in the state it's in. Unfortunately I don't have a solution, but I expect it would be easier to find one if more people let go of political tribalism (and all the rhetoric of division that comes with it) and started paying attention to who actually runs the country.

      1. Outski Silver badge

        More likely than the civil service pushing it is that every time a new minister, be it in Home Office or, as currently, DCMS, comes in with a new wheeze strongly hinting at ID cards, the relevant Sir Humphrey merely dusts off the last proposals, updates a few references, removes some old flaws while adding new ones, meaning it'll still fail to make it to the statute books.

        1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

          No, I think you have it the wrong way around. There was an old story about Ken Clarke (I think)... when he was appointed Home Secretary he received a delegation of senior Home Office civil servants, and senior police officers, demanding that he introduce stronger ID requirements and even ID cards. They explained how there was a lot of serious crime, fraud, immigration offences, etc which could be prevented with mandatory ID cards.

          He refused. It is the British people's right to stick the finger up to officials, and refuse to identify themselves as long as they are going about their own business.

          The delegation said "OK - well we had to try, you know. We'll try again with the next one."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes, Minister was right

        The civil service are the ones pushing all this ID card stuff ... if more people let go of political tribalism (and all the rhetoric of division that comes with it) and started paying attention to who actually runs the country.

        True, but when people said that about the European Commission (the EU civil service) during the Brexit debate they were roundly shouted down as talking nonsense.

        Our elected officials have less & less control over the civil "servants" who are supposed to serve us.

      3. Norman Nescio Silver badge

        Labour. Hmm. Remember the No2ID campaign? It is still going, but needs support.

        NO2ID launched its public campaign with an online petition that gathered over 3,000 signatures in a little over four weeks, submitted just as the Labour Government introduced the first Identity Cards Bill in November 2004.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NO2ID

        https://www.no2id.net/

        I did make a long and rambling post about the differences between ID cards (which can be restricted to highly specific purposes) and National ID 'numbers' used as database keys to link disparate databases, but decided it wouldn't be particularly helpful. Anyone interested to that extent will sure already have looked it up for themselves and made their own decisions. At least I'm not so decrepit so as not to notice when I ramble. So far.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      To be fair, Brexit was a cross-party yes/no thing with proponents and objectors from all parties. Blaming the Tories or Labour for Brexit is a bit weird.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Blue rose man bad.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        "Blaming the Tories or Labour for Brexit is a bit weird."

        You can most certainly blame the current Tory top for Brexit. They are all especially selected for their reality distortion abilities. Or they wouldn't be in this shitshow of a government.

  15. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    Increased exposure for no gain

    They want people to hand over details of their passport and build a treasure-trove of PII just waiting to leak.

    For what gain? It won't make the blindest bit of difference to levels of online abuse/hate. Just look at the reports from Twitter et al whenever they have to block accounts for racist abuse towards footballers: the accounts are almost always in the user's own name. We *already* have the ability to identify a significant number of those throwing abuse around and laws to catch a lot of it (there are gaps, admittedly), what we lack is the resources to actually pursue it in any meaningful way.

    Rather than twatting about building up stockpiles of data-protection disasters, why doesn't the government look at properly reversing it's under-resourcing and under-funding of both the Police and the Criminal Justice System. It doesn't matter what new crimes you create when there's a years long wait for justice.

    There's stuff in the Online Harms/Safety Bill I do agree with, but the vast majority of it is tech-illiterate and dangerous. It'd be better to scrap the whole thing and start with a new, more tightly scoped bill to introduce the specific new offences that are actually required.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Increased exposure for no gain

      "[...] and under-funding of both the Police [...]"

      Recent cases and disciplinary hearings suggest that the Police recruit - and do not filter out - people who are part of the abusive face of UK society.

      An acquaintance was a special constable and received official commendations for his thoughtful policing of delicate situations. When his force was again recruiting for officers he applied and passed all the stages - except the final interview with a senior officer. He was told that he wasn't aggressive enough.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Increased exposure for no gain

      Thing is they are not going to force to use a passport for social media, you can still use and make anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

      Its likely most will not opt in.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Increased exposure for no gain

        Repeating the same comment will not make it any less wrong.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Increased exposure for no gain

          Do agree that it still wrong and could turn unverified users as second class citizens.

          But its likely most wont use it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At this point the sheep will sign up to anything

    The pandemic has demonstrated that the masses are more than willing to sacrifice almost all their freedoms in exchange for "safety", so it should come as no surprise when the government proposes such a scheme.

    Eventually, everything you do online will be tracked and monitored. The EU, for example, has been explicit in this aim:

    https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/european-digital-identity_en

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At this point the sheep will sign up to anything

      By "freedoms" like:.

      1) The premature deaths of thousands of other people.

      2) The overloading of the NHS intensive care units.

      No one promised the UK public "safety". What they asked for was everyone's help to minimise the potential disaster.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: At this point the sheep will sign up to anything

        Yeah, about those lockdown forecasts...

        Scientists did not have accurate Covid case numbers, and were unsure of hospitalisation and death rates when they published models suggesting that more than 500,000 people could die if Britain took no action in the first wave of the pandemic, it has emerged.

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/02/26/covid-modelling-prompted-first-uk-lockdown-based-inaccurate/

        Even if there was some justification for the first lockdown when we knew little about the disease, there can be absolutely no excuse for the continued extension of draconian restrictions and the two subsequent lockdowns that the UK had to endure.

        The fact that the chattering classes were demanding yet another lockdown prior to Christmas 2021 is simply scandalous.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: At this point the sheep will sign up to anything

          "The fact that the chattering classes were demanding yet another lockdown prior to Christmas 2021 is simply scandalous."

          Yes, because making the NHS work flat out 24/7 all year round, and 6m on the waiting list, is not a problem at all.

          Entitled and selfish, much?

    2. Citizen of Nowhere

      Re: At this point the sheep will sign up to anything

      This European Digital Identity isn't compulsory:

      "What will change for Europeans?

      The main novel element offered by the new rules is that everyone will have a right to have a European Digital Identity Wallet which is accepted in all Member States. But at the same time, there will be no obligation."

      The "trusted identities" for this voluntary scheme would actually have to be created in and provided by the member states, so if digital IDs are made compulsory in order to track us ubiquitously (but are they really needed for that? Google might snigger a little at that thought) it will be done by the will of the member states not the EU.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While I understand the desire for "credentials" in order to create a user account - this is world of nope.

    If my profile is full of Anti-Trump Jokes, and for some reason Trump gets back into a position of relevance; does knowing that my passport relates to Anti-Trump jokes cause a problem?

    US entry paperwork already (voluntarily) asks for social media details.

    There emphatically is a problem here to solve regarding bogus accounts spreading misinformation; including the many, many Russian troll farms.

    But handing over details like this would be an instant account close.

    1. Infused

      I believe the social media details are now compulsory in the ESTA.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Had to look that up.

        .

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_System_for_Travel_Authorization

        .

        Before September 8, 2010, ESTA was available for free from the official government websites. Since then, the Travel Promotion Act introduced a charge of $14.

        As to be expected under the DSEANOPA ( Demented Sugary Euphemistic American Naming of Parts Act ), the amusing bit is labelling a surcharge as 'Promotion'...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thing is you can still make anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts. You have to opt in to it.

      Its likely most will not opt in.

  18. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Online Safety

    "some platforms may choose to provide users with an option to verify their profile picture to ensure it is a true likeness"

    Are they insisting that the profile picture is the one in the passport, or at least the same person? That isn't online safety. that's a stalker's and extortionist's charter, making everybody post their true likeness with their real name. So, anybody being threatened would in effect be made to let the bastards threatening them have access to their online lives, for the sake of their own "online safety"....

    This idiotic idea does anything but make people safe - it is guaranteed to cause harm.

    1. Caver_Dave
      Facepalm

      Re: Online Safety

      Updated my driving license recently and they used my passport photo. So for the next 10 years my driving license has a photo that was already 10 years old when it was printed.

      That's really up to date as ID then - NOT!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Online Safety

        My passport expired many years ago. The photo in it was taken when I was 15. I still have a paper driving licence valid until I'm 70, with no photo on it of course. The only issue I have with not having any photo ID is that when security clearances come up for renewal I have to provide one or two extra things to prove my name and address instead of the photo ID.

        1. Falmari Silver badge

          Re: Online Safety

          @John Brown (no body) “I still have a paper driving licence valid until I'm 70, with no photo on it of course.”

          Valid until you’re 70 if the license does not require replacing, which it would do if you change address, lose it or get a ban. I think even becoming qualified to drive a new vehicle class requires the license to be replaced, but endorsement's don't.

          If the license is replaced, then you have to get the photo ID one which has to be renewed every 10 years.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Online Safety

            I'm aware of the conditions and am not planning on doing any of the things that might need a replacement in the next 10 years :-)

            1. Falmari Silver badge

              Re: Online Safety

              I was just pointing it out as that's what happened to me when I moved, I had to get the new photo license. :(

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Online Safety

        "Updated my driving license recently and they used my passport photo."

        I had to update my photo the last time around and prepared for it by letting my hair grow wild and dyed it before having my photo taken. The license does have my natural hair color listed, but it doesn't match the photo since nobody is checking. The question is how well facial recognition sees through the face cactus. I wonder if I should have also gone to a make up artist and had them make me look very different through the use of dark and light makeup.

        I wouldn't want to play games with a passport photos as that might have me stuck in another country trying to convince some government plod that it's me. It's not an issue since my passport expired years ago and I don't travel so much anymore and none of it internationally.

  19. naive

    That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

    Preaching freedom somewhere someone else, reign them in at home.

    The hypocrites moaning about Putin took more lessens from him than what is good for us.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

      Uh, you do realise that RT actually manages to be even more biased and batshit crazy than Fox News, right?

      The sad part is that it took starting a war before anybody really noticed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

        Uh, you do realise that RT actually manages to be even more biased and batshit crazy than Fox News, right?

        Still doesn't justify censorship/cancellation/banning which should have no place in a truly free society. After all, who gets to monitor the censors?

        If they are crazy then allow us all to witness their craziness and judge accordingly.

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

          ...censorship/cancellation/banning which should have no place in a truly free society...

          Bullshit. There is no god-given right to spew hatred, prejudice, incitements to violence etc.

          ...allow us all to witness their craziness and judge...

          That only works if the "witnesses" are not already a bit crazy and have the mental toolkit necessary to determine what is true and what is batshit crazy.

          The fact that Fox and QAnon even exist is proof beyond all doubt that many people cannot work out what is real and what is deranged fantasy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

            While of course MSNBC and CNN are bastions of Truth and Reason, along with the NYT and WAPO, and any other left wing media outlet, for obviously (according to DJO), they're definitely not batshit crazy at all.

            "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." George Orwell.

            1. DJO Silver badge

              Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

              ...MSNBC and CNN are bastions of Truth and Reason...

              Have you ever seen or heard any "left wing" source promoting racial hatred like the "right wing" ones do?

              Do the "left wing" source promote spurious conspiracy theories such as massive electoral fraud in 2020 when the only significant fraud that was found was actually by republicans for republicans.

              While few if any sources are beyond reproach, many of the right wing are so far past the Rubicon it defies any form of sense.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

                Have you ever seen or heard any "left wing" source promoting racial hatred like the "right wing" ones do?

                I'm sorry but you're going to have to provide a citation from one of the right leaning MSM sources to support your claim.

                1. Outski Silver badge

                  Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

                  Right wing MSM sources promoting racial hatred? How about Tucker Carlson promoting "Great Replacement Theory" on Fox, a ridiculous number of times

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

            Bullshit. There is no god-given right to spew hatred, prejudice, incitements to violence etc.

            Those transgressions are already covered by the respective broadcasting standards authorities of each country although hatred, in particular, can be very difficult and problematic to define.

          3. Graham Cobb Silver badge

            Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

            The fact that Fox and QAnon even exist is proof beyond all doubt that many people cannot work out what is real and what is deranged fantasy.

            Although that is certainly true, the last thing we want is some official (or, worse, a politician or political appointee) being in control of deciding what is real and what is deranged fantasy.

            To steal Churchill's famous aphorism about democracy... free speech is the worst way to run society, except for all the others that have been tried.

            1. DJO Silver badge

              Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

              We have an Advertising Standards Authority which ensure that adverts are truthful and honest (for a given value of truthful). I'm sure a similar body independent of government could be established for news media. In fact we have one, The Independent Press Standards Organisation, but they are about as much use as a meringue hammer having no budget and few powers.

              Freedoms are great but freedoms without regulation is an invitation to tyranny of the loudest mouth.

              1. Potty Professor Bronze badge
                Flame

                Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

                The ASA are completely useless, I complained to them about the misreporting in a certain advert, but they waved my complaint away with "It's common usage now, so we won't take action"

                1. DJO Silver badge

                  Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

                  It's the same with almost all regulatory bodies in the UK, the Tories have stripped them of adequate funding for them to fulfil their remit.

                  Look at the Environment Agency, the government go on about how pollution is illegal but they have removed almost all the budget so they have to ignore almost all transgressions.

                  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/02/environment-agency-england-downgrading-prosecutions-serious-pollution-leaked-report

                  A law that is not enforced might as well not exist.

        2. JassMan Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

          They should allow RT to continue, but be forced to permanently display a banner (in an easily legible font) stating "Everything you see here should be fact checked before consumption"

          It mostly works on farcebook and twatter, or so I have been told - I have never used either.

          Banning RT altogether is an excuse for Pooty to kick western media out of Russia again.

      2. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

        RT, Fox, CNN, BBC.. all have their propaganda.

        It's why I don't support censoring any of them - you get a far more rounded view by drawing on inputs from multiple disagreeing sources.

        For instance Al Jazeera can absolutely not be trusted regarding certain topics. I'm still finding it a useful source of referenced/researched news that the BBC refuse to cover.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

      A good rule of thumb about free speech was defined many years ago - as not allowing a false shout of "fire!" in a packed theatre.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

      Why says RT is forbidden? It’s on my TV, channel 113, one of the HD Freeview broadcast channels. I don’t get Fox News on Freeview, or any broadcast as far as I know,

      It’s actually a laugh spotting the continuity errors and mistakes in their propaganda films.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

        The EU is going to ban it and Ofcom will likely follow suit.

        https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/feb/27/eu-ban-russian-state-backed-channels-rt-sputnik

        https://rxtvinfo.com/2022/rt-ban-channel-faces-imminent-removal

    4. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: That is in the same category as "We stand for freedom of Ukraine but forbid RT at home"

      Indeed, love all the Tories cheering the anti war protests in Russia - when they have just passed laws to make going on UK protests* an impressionable offence (just like in Russia)

      * wording so shoddy (deliberately) that the police can find an excuse to bang up even the most placid protestor if they try hard enough. If anyone thinks I'm being alarmist just look at the way that police brutality at the Sarah Everard vigil was given a free pass despite plenty of mobile footage of police unprovoked attacks on protestors... I know a couple of some people in the police, they describe most of their colleagues as racist / sexist thugs and don't see much hope of it improving rapidly as the culture leading to such traits not even been carefully hidden is deeply ingrained...They wonder how they managed to get accepted in the first place as it was obvious at interview they were a mismatch for canteen culture (being female their assumptions for acceptance were box ticking exercise on diversity)

  20. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    What is "social media"?

    If Faceache needs my Passport that's one big 'secure' company that can be policed by the Government ... but then there's Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, all the "dating" apps, Grinder (?). So we now have loads of obviously "social media" organisations will have a passport security requirement and will need both security of data and reliable policing of that data security by the state.

    But what about Usenet feeds (yes they still exist)? What about this very forum or the hundreds or thousands like it on every subject from knitting flowers to coffin making and gerbil mating behaviour? Where does "social media" stop and "discussion forums" start? How many organisation will shut down forums rather than be labelled "social media" and be responsible for security of passport information which has in itself got to insecure as it has to be transmitted in the clear as "they" don't want end-to-end encryption?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: What is "social media"?

      Don't forget the big picture, and the big money. FaceMelta, Alphabet, Microsoft & Apple have all been lobbying for years to do ID 'management' for many years. Reason is simple, ie service revenues, and data hygiene. Having official recognition verifying an ID just makes all the data associated with it all the more valuable.

    2. Infused

      Re: What is "social media"?

      Critics & analysts of this bill have being saying this since the bill was introduced in last year's Queen's Speech. It's going to blow apart the British internet; indeed all that may be left will be Big Tech (e.g. Facebook), newspaper websites, Gov.uk & Porn Hub. The regulatory burden could drive to the wall 300,000 micro & small online businesses according to one report I saw (the government reckons it'll affect 24,000 providers). The platforms themselves will probably be damned if they do & damned if they don't remove content. The whole bill is a massive disaster that could wreck the British tech sector for years to come, all driven by a ridiculous moral panic whipped up by a declining newspaper industry vengeful over lost ad revenues & lost readers.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is "social media"?

      Thing is they are not going to force ID on you, you can still use anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

      Its likely most will not opt in.

  21. David M

    Don't blame the messenger

    I've used Facebook for 12 years or so, and have never seen a "tidal wave of hate". A couple of overly-heated discussions, but that's about it. But then I choose my FB friends carefully. All that's needed is a bit of education in how to use the platform and guard against abuse. Take care over sharing settings. Unfollow or unfriend people if necessary. Problem largely solved.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Don't blame the messenger

      Well sure it is possible to avoid the "tidal wave of hate", but you have to take steps like you have to do so. There was an experiment done in the US where new accounts were created that did only one thing - to like Donald Trump's Facebook account. They had no friends, so they only saw stuff that flowed from that one initial like. They joined every group that was "suggested" for them, within in two days were being suggested QAnon and white supremacist groups.

      Now obviously Trump supporters are not joining every group suggested to them, but it shows how quickly Facebook's algorithm can take things in a bad direction for those who are susceptible, which seems to go out of its way to push people towards more extreme viewpoints the more of the slightly less extreme viewpoints they engage with. Because Facebook only cares about making people spend more time on their platform so they see more ads. If that were accomplished by showing them only true things and cat pictures that's what they'd do, but unfortunately political outrage is great for engagement, and the more extremist the content the greater the outrage.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Don't blame the messenger

        "push people towards more extreme viewpoints"

        I think it's already been shown that Facebooks algorithms are designed to encourage more "interaction" and their algorithms have "learned" that more extreme posts cause more interaction. More interaction means more money for Facebook, so why would they change it? IIRC, the Facebook leaks reported here recently confirmed they know this and encourage it while using weasle words to claim they don't.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Don't blame the messenger

      “Problem largely solved”

      Solved in your little world, but think outside you little world. You’ve managed to stay ignorant of the worse side of the sewer of the internet, but you continue to support it by using it. So what you really mean is “not my problem”.

  22. heyrick Silver badge

    Two words

    FUCK and OFF.

  23. John Robson Silver badge

    Can we force politicians to use their real names then?

    Alexander de Pfeffel...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymity anyone? Is my name Liz Truss? Guess!!!

    Quote: "...hand their passports over to Facebook as a condition for using the service..."

    Yup....that works.....but which passport should I use?...

    Quote: "...a platform sends a prompt to a user's mobile number..."

    Yup.....that works.....my burner phone does not have any registered account.......you know......"burner"!!

    Quote: "....strong rhetoric discouraging end-to-end encryption rollouts...."

    Yup....suit yourself......E2EE doesn't worry me at all.....all my private messages are privately encrypted BEFORE they enter public channels!!

    What other snooping do they have in mind? Maybe the snoops want to see my birth certificate so that they can match it up with my passport (see above) and make sure that I'm over 18? Yup......I'm sure I can manage something!!!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to the new DDR.

    Erich Mielke is spinning in his Grave.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi.

  26. Johnb89

    Two mutually exclusive options here

    The debate about online anonymity (good in many cases) against not allowing online anonymity (good in many cases) is a typical modern (internet) debate, with both sides shouting at each other. The proposed solutions around identity verification is merely one element of one side of the options.

    I don't see that we can have both online security (anonymity) AND online safety (not anonymity). The government is trying to pretend one side is possible, reasonable and proportionate, tech advocates are trying to pretend the other.

    I don't know if there is a compromise or clever yet-to-be-conceived solution, but both sides are right and both sides are wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two mutually exclusive options here

      @Johnb89

      Beautifully balanced argument!!

      ....which misses an important point....namely that the BALANCE OF POWER is completely on the side of governments and corporate power!!

      An individual wants privacy...............

      ..............the STASI wants to know everything about everyone..............

      Just expain to me........who is standing up for the little guy? NO ONE AT ALL!!!

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Two mutually exclusive options here

      Why does anonymity prevent security?

    3. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Two mutually exclusive options here

      Online safety is not improved if there is no anonymity, it's made worse.

      People already try and dox others for having the 'wrong' views, and use that information to try and get them cancelled - from social media, from banking services, from their jobs.

      Making it easier for those poisonous people to brigade people exercising freedom of expression is not improving online safety.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Two mutually exclusive options here

        And the vast majority of those people could be easily traced - simply get the IP address used to post the offensive material and follow the ISP.

        What we need is police, and courts, willing to act on such hate crimes. Not the compulsion to spaff your real address everywhere, making doxing even easier.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Two mutually exclusive options here

          @John_Robson

          Quote: "...the vast majority of those people could be easily traced - simply get the IP address..."

          Dear John Robson:

          (...if that is your actual name!) I wonder if you have heard that IP addresses are not very reliable:

          (1) This message comes from an internet cafe......and I paid in cash!!

          (2) ...or I could have used a VPN (over another VPN?).....good luck with that!!

          (3) ...or I might have hi-jacked my neighbour's WiFi.....and stuck them with PC Plod!!!!

          ....and of course, I'm just a tyro......the pros have much better tools!!!

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Two mutually exclusive options here

            No IP addresses aren't hugely reliable, but they are a reasonable first effort, and will deal with the vast majority of issues.

            The fact that we don't even try to prosecute any of them is the problem, not that we can't catch the tech savvy few percent.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Two mutually exclusive options here

        Thing is they are not going to force ID on you, you can still use and make anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts, it will be opt in.

        Its likely most will not opt in.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1984 is on the phone and wants to talk to you

    Nadine dubass must be using the same reality distortion generator as the Russian ambassador just used during his speech at the UN.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please sign up to my new social media platform

    All you need is a name, mothered maiden name, two recent utility bills and you mobile phone number. Also a passport would be handy.

    Thankyou.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please sign up to my new social media platform

      Thing is they are not going to force ID on you, you can still use and make anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

      Its likely most will not opt in.

  29. Helcat

    So are we all going to be issued passports? Free of charge? 'cause I don't have one and don't need one for any other purpose and am not about to pay for something that can so easily be abused just to use unsocial-media.

    I would also call into question the validity of using a passport (purpose: Travel documentation) for this. It's in breach of GDPR as it stands (Am not travelling to/from another country when using unsocial-media so no border control to pass through).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thing is they are not going to force ID on you, you can still use and make anonymous accounts but this offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

      Its likely most will not opt in.

  30. iron Silver badge

    Mossad should buy Nadine Dorries a bottle of wine. She's making it even easier to obtain UK passport details for the fake passports they use when conducting illegal operations in other couintries.

    What a fucking muppet.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another suggestion.......

    Quote: "...strong rhetoric discouraging end-to-end encryption rollouts..."

    Please....just buy the Bruce Schneier book "Applied Cryptography"....it's a riveting 748 page read. Then get comfortable with a modern C compiler (gcc 11.2 comes to mind).....

    ....and you can do all the encryption you and your buddies need...without using any services from anyone else....

    ....E2EE will be a thing in your past......and the snoops will have one more problem to deal with!!!

    P.S. reading up on Diffie/Hellman (circa 1976) might also help.........

    1. FrogsAndChips

      Re: Another suggestion.......

      The golden rule of encryption is: "Don't roll out your own crypto".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another suggestion.......

        @FrogsAndChips

        Really? If encryption is best left to others....then this is the anorak version of "abandon hope"......

        So Mr. Frogs......who do you trust for your privacy? FB, Proton, Telegram, Google.........?

        Yup......not much help there!!

        Maybe you trust the good folk in Cheltenham or Fort Meade, MD??

        Yup.....not much help there either!!

        So.....pray tell....what is your solution to this conundrum?

      2. that one in the corner Bronze badge

        Re: Another suggestion.......

        "Roll your own crypto" refers to inventing your own crypto algorithm, which Bruce Schneier makes very clear in his books, of course.

        Reading the book, selecting an appropriate algorithm, finding a trusted implementation (ok, there are issues there), compiling it (at least the exe won't be *trivially* backdoored 'cos you read the code a bit?) and adding it to a comms program for you and for your friends to share isn't "rolling your own crypto".

        Although doing all that is a bit OTT (but if you don't trust ssh etc, then go ahead).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Another suggestion.......

          @that_one_in_the_corner

          Thanks for the clarification.

          Yes....it's pretty clear that ordinary folk should use a tried and tested algorithm....rather than inventing their own algorithm.

          That said, there's a good write up on the algorithm used by Thomas Beale around 1822, where two out of three documents are still unbroken today! (See "The Code Book" by Simon Singh, chapter two, "The Beale Ciphers").

          So.....there may still be opportunities for anoraks -- who are not mathematicians -- notwithstanding the good advice from Bruce Schneier!!!

  32. HarryBl

    Is there anybody in the House of Commons who has even the slightest idea about modern technology?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If they are an MP then they are subject to their party's voting whips and advancement preferences. If they reach the House of Lords then they might finally show their real intelligence. However the government finds ways to ignore considered arguments from the Lords.

      1. Infused

        Claire Fox is pretty much the only Lord who had any idea about the impact of this bill.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        I just read a BBC News article about the ever increasing numbers of MPs who have had the Whip removed for a period for refusing to vote along Party lines. It's quite a number and causing consternation in the Whips office of both main parties.

        1. Toni the terrible

          If you just want to be an MP why obey a whip at all?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Party politics. There a few independents in the House. Having the whip removed means being suspended or removed from your party. That can have an impact on an election if one is looming, eg campaign funding.

    2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      the slightest idea

      But of course. "It just works."

  33. nijam Silver badge

    Doesn't the bumf that you get with a passport tell you to keep it safe and not hand it over to anyone else? Or am I just showing my age?

    1. nonpc

      ... although you have to hand it over when travelling (where details can be/are copied/recorded), and in certain countries they require you to carry it, when it can be relatively easily stolen.

  34. nijam Silver badge

    Well, the article does say "People will now have more control over who can contact them and be able to stop the tidal wave of hate served up to them by ... Dorries."

  35. TheProf
    Devil

    I'm A Celebrity......

    Say what you like about Nadine Dorries but she does have an impeccable technical background.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadine_Dorries

    1. nonpc

      Re: I'm A Celebrity......

      Thank you - a right riveting read! Presumably better than her published output (real and imaginary).

  36. AbeSapian

    Are They High?

    Do they not read the news?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just want to say its not outright ban anonymous accounts but offer ways for users to verify their identities and control who can interact with them such as by selecting an option to only receive DMs and replies from verified accounts.

    Its likely most will not opt in.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Commodity to exploit by others ?!

    Yet again we, the individual, seems to be a target for money making by corporations.

    The NHS data has been sold, now it's passport data ?

    Excuse me if my jaded outlook on life leads me to believe that this new 'improved online security' will be explained to us mere cattle as 'its to protect the kids'.

    When it was mentioned to me that pornographers have shifted images for centuries prior to the internet, indeed videos used to be on film or the more up to date, video cassettes, they will find other creative ways to move their stuff, which would negate any and all cyber security.

    Besides, don't all the data breeches kind of mock the folk that said we have complete data security on our servers and systems,only for leaked data to be sitting on paper (hardcopy), in an unlocked briefcase on some form of very public transport ?!

    Now, where did I put that secure shredding USB key.....?

  39. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Well, Nadine is thick as a brick, for a start...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Asinine

    If any government is so inept they can't securely enact a nation wide ID system base of something ubiquitous like drivers licenses, they sure as hell are going to mung up handing it over to some private off shore bunch of gangsters.

    F*ckUBook, I laugh, anyone can create multiple fake accounts and be whoever they wish.

  41. Irdroid

    Another misguided attempt to crack a nut with a bottle opener...

    Just more of "make it hard for users" and nothing that will stop those that keep abusing the internet etc.

    I have seen friends stalked, trolled, hacked, abused, etc etc etc - and seen that the police are totally unequipped to investigate and bring the (known) perpetrator to justice. The government are messing around with the wrong end of this problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another misguided attempt to crack a nut with a bottle opener...

      The last age verification digital ID law was delayed over and over again until it was scraped because they just could not find a way to get it up and running, its also easy to see that this new bill could also collapse and not work at all.

  42. Jake Maverick

    Well, there goes the last of the 'freedom of speech' concept....if you can't be anonymous, you can't speak freely.

    Plenty of us don't have government permission documents anyway, identity stolen long time ago...I can't even get a bank account, work for a living....so if i can't spend my days speaking on tinternet....what else is there for me? :-(

  43. Jake Maverick

    It's all a part of the global electronic identity plan....they're looking to get rid of cash by 2030....nobody else figured out what that programable currency bit in the Covid app is really for....?

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The end of the internet

    I paid for my passport not the government i will not give my personal passport bank card to facebook or any other site and I no longer download apps to my phone

  45. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Dig down to the KT boundary

    The business revenue model for social media is to collect personal information, package it and sell it to interested parties at a profit. Most people think that those businesses are there to connect people to each other. In a sense, that's true, but they want to connect people together to sell those patterns. Beyond the InstaPintaTwitFace world you can descend into the murky server rooms of the Big Data companies. Since there are no data source laws, those companies will collect data dumps from the Dark Web as well as through "partnership" agreements with MSSM. Try as hard as you like to obfuscate your identity, if those companies get enough matching points, they can connect the real you to your online persona in any form. If they errantly put in your file that you had been arrested for a serious crime, there aren't laws that require them to tell you in the same way as negative information in a credit report. Maybe you were, but then got released as it obviously wasn't you. Those two pieces of information don't sit side by side on some document. If you apply for a string of jobs you are well qualified for but never get called for an interview, you may want to dig into your big data profile and make sure they don't have you down as a sex offender or somebody that sues their employees on a regular basis.

    Governments in the first world are often prevented from prying into people's private lives by law. They can only get at that information via a subpoena after convincing a magistrate to issue one. Having a Partner account at FB can get around some of those laws since it's simply a purchase of a product that is publicly available. The same goes for buying information from Spokeo or another Big Data company. Having a data file well connected to a passport is far better than using your telephone number which is the modern equivalent of the tattoos used for concentration camp prisoners in WWII. You can change phone numbers as often as you like, but not the information on your passport without updating that information with the government.

    People will have to scream bloody murder over programs like this being put forward as it's a boon for government. Elected officials need to see this type of legislation as a full set of nails to the coffin of their political career. Very few are going to see that it's morally very dodgy. Morals are Kryptonite to politicians.

    What politicians need to be working on are very draconian laws that can remove a company from the universe for sloppy data protection. Perhaps then those companies will take security more seriously and limit the type and amount of information they maintain on people. I'd suggest that along with the high salary that can go with a C-level title, prison time is a possibility for data breaches. I still wouldn't hand them my passport data, but it might not be as black and white as it is right now.

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