writes: UK culture minister Barbara Follett is proposing new measures for controlling access to internet content, including an "age identity card for the internet". Quote: "It is useful when it comes to alcohol and cigarettes and it is certainly useful when it comes to buying video games and other material on the internet." Her counterpart from the opposition Conservative party supports the proposals. This follows just days after the UK government announced both a price hike and changes to the checking process for their controversial national ID card scheme, which they are now pitching as a basis for proving age and identity in retail transactions.
writes: A senior British judge has proposed that every man, woman and child in the UK, including foreign tourists, should be obligated to provide DNA samples for the national database. Lord Justice Sedley says that the national database containing only records for people who've been arrested is 'indefensible', and that 'a great many people who are walking the streets, and whose DNA would show them guilty of crimes, go free.'
He also points out, with support from the president of the Black Police Association, that DNA records from ethnic minority groups are overrepresented in the current system, implying that the solution to this problem is to add everyone else's records in too. Politicians from both the government and the opposition Conservative party also express support for the idea, in principle.
Sedley adds that this universal DNA database should only be used 'for the absolutely rigorously restricted purpose of crime detection and prevention'. But the human rights advocacy group Liberty notes that the original legislation on permanent DNA retention has been changed several times in recent years, with permanent DNA retention for a limited number of offences following conviction growing to retention following arrest for any recordable offence.