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UK Government to Shut Down GSM Networks 94

An anonymous reader writes "Mobile Gazette is reporting that the British government wants to shut down the UK's GSM networks next year and re-use the frequencies for gambling terminals and a new citizen surveillance program extending the use of the new compulsory ID cards. Although we should perhaps welcome the move away from old-style 2G mobile phone networks, there are perhaps a few worrying things about the new "Big Brother" citizen monitoring that the government is proposing to put in."
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UK Government to Shut Down GSM Networks

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  • Or someone needs to go V for Vendetta on those guys.
  • April Fools (Score:2, Insightful)

    This has to be another april fools joke.....
  • I know this is Truthday, and Big Brother tells me the Prollies will love this doubleplusalot.

  • Ouch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by taskforce ( 866056 ) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @07:58AM (#15041162) Homepage
    The worrying thing is, I didn't bat an eyelid, and totally expected this from my government, until I got to the comments reminding me that it was April Fools Day... (Despite a full knowledege that it was April Fools Day, when I saw the words UK and Government in the same sentance I entered paranoia mode)
    • I didn't bat an eyelid, and totally expected this from my government, until I got to the comments reminding me that it was April Fools Day

      For me the eyes-burning pink-colored css-styled atrocity that is today's main page was kind of a giveaway.
      • Re:Ouch (Score:2, Funny)

        by carou ( 88501 )
        For me the eyes-burning pink-colored css-styled atrocity that is today's main page was kind of a giveaway.

        After, nothing would surprise me.
    • Shutting down the GSM networks would pretty much kill every mobile phone out there - so that shoulda been a dead giveaway to.

      Well, that and the fact that the ID cards aren't cumpulsory - yet ;)

      [note to self, spellhink mistaxe]
      • well maybe 15% are 3G. That's not far off the 25% or so of TVs which were digital prior to the announcement that the analogue signal would be switched off - which has now reached 70% or more...
        • True, but the key difference is that TV's dont tend to get imported from overseas on a daily basis - we constantly have people coming in from overseas expecting to be able to use their cells, on the other hand. London is one of the major financial capitals of the world, and a move like this would probably cost the economy billions - way more than they'd make on selling the waves.
    • Dude, how could you forget that it's April Fools? Everything is pink!

      And besides, the only thing that made this story unbelievable was the gambling terminals thing. The rest is totally plausible and non-ridiculous.
    • You do realize that V for Vendetta was a movie, right?

      ...Or was it?
  • Why do they bother? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by minuszero ( 922125 )
    They'll never beat the ol' Spaghetti Tree Hoax of '57... pril/1/newsid_2819000/2819261.stm []

    Apparently the supermarkets sold out for fear of a shortage.
  • a "stupid" moderation option ? I would love to just for once, mod people stupid when they actually reply seriously on any story on slashdot today. Please Taco ? (Jupp, this reply could also be seen as a "serious" reply, but bear with me)
  • by dyftm ( 880762 ) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @08:46AM (#15041270)
    It wouldn't surprise me if I saw this story in a couple of years time, but not on april fool's day. We really are the lobsters slowly being boiled.
    • >lobsters slowly being boiled.

      you're thinking of frogs, dude. lobsters don't get slowly boiled, they get thrown right in the pan of boiling water.

      frogs, however, apparently don't notice they're being boiled if you turn the heat up on them very slowly. hence the expression 'like a frog in a pot'.
  • Oh come on (Score:1, Flamebait)

    If you're going to make up an April Fools hoax at least make it remotely plausible. Only a total muppet could believe this story.
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:3, Insightful)

      by VJ42 ( 860241 )
      The only reason not to believe it is because our government would never be able to roll it out so quickly, otherwise given the authoratarian and stupid nature of "New" Labour it hits quite close to the mark. Infact some official probably read that and thought "what a good idea".
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:2, Insightful)

      by isorox ( 205688 )
      If you're going to make up an April Fools hoax at least make it remotely plausible. Only a total muppet could believe this story.

      You obviously don't live in the UK. It's a bit of a stretch, but not that much less believable than doing away with parliament next and have ministers pass laws personally.
    • If you're going to make up an April Fools hoax at least make it remotely plausible.

      Well, here in the USA, the government is taking away spectrum from a well established industry: []

      Oh, and they are requring everyone in the US to buy a new TV or STB (At least we get better pictures). All because the FCC wanted to allow secondary use on the unused channels for first responder dispatch radios.

      Granted, most of the problem could have been avoided with some reasonable thinki

      • i dont mind screwing with poular entertainment for the sake of emergancy communication.

        at least it's not goin the other way shafting first responders to line some fatcat's pockets
    • Yeah, they might as well have joked that the UK Government want to pass their very own Enabling Act [], allowing them to change laws without going through Parliament. Only a total muppet could believe that. []
  • The title was believable. Well... I belived it :(
  • come on... British are miles behind... In America the Big Brother system work 25/8 and there aro no GSM phones... Only GTA (General Theft Audible)
  • " [+] aprilfools, uk, gay, bigbrother, lame (tagging beta)"

    this kinda defeats the purpose of making a joke... at least hide the beta tags for today.
  • This is just like that famous book, Fahrenheit 1987 by Joel Chandler Harris [].

    I love it when governments get ideas from my favorite Sci Fi! But I think a lot of other people on slashdot really like that book, so I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't wait for this to become a reality!

    Ok, gotta run, my gf is calling me back to bed...

    Happy AF /.
  • 4/1 (Score:1, Redundant)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 )
    Why are we even here.. this gets old fast.

    And pink? Dear god.. hell of a color to wake up to in the morning.

  • Email Day (Score:2, Insightful)

    by graystar ( 223824 )
    April fool's day is a good day to bury bad news.
  • no joke (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:25AM (#15041493) Homepage Journal
    Especially the gambling thing. We seem to be increasingly turning to sin taxes, not as a means to make it more expinsive to 'sin', but as a means to facilitate the behavior that many find unethical. The fact that many high and mighty alleged christian condone this behavior remind me of a person who got angry at the moneychangers in the temple.

    One example of this is the Texas State lottery, which exist under the guise of increasing funding to education. Of course funding for education, as a percentage of the Texas budget, has fallen considerable over the past 15 years even as lottery revenue has grown. So what is the new proposal? Well a official named Strayhorn want gambling machines. Now this is the lady that attempted to start the process of a state religion for Texas by attempting to rescind the tax exempt status of a church, the denomination of which has existed from the birth of the United States and in many ways reflects the values of our founding fathers, as many of these men had input in it's creation. Combine this with the fact that the demonination has no profit motive, unlike the megachurches that infest Texas, and one wonders if Strayhorn is primarily concerned with well being of the average Texan or the a personal campaign of religious zelotry in which those that disagree with her liberal view of gambling are ignored.

    To be clear I am not concerned if people gamble or not. I do not see how we can justify lottery machines in an time when we no longer have cig machines. How can one say that we can enforce the 18+ limit on tickets any more that cigs? I am not sure that having gambling machines in every corner is a net benifit. Like illegal drugs it take money to feed the habit. But, at the end of the day, in a capatilist conservative country like ours, built on a the standards of minimal government and private enterprise, I suppose the government is in the best position to effecintly run a gambling bussiness.

  • Margaret Thatcher, former UK PM, is believed to be behind the plot to shut down GSM netwroks in the UK. We've received word that Miss Thatcher is apparently doing this after years of planning -- since her impeachment -- to get back at the british public, and further her goal to start her own fashionable cellular phone company... Ass. Press 2006
  • by phorest ( 877315 ) *

    Blair lied, cellphones died!

  • That it didn't even occur to me that it culd possibly be a joke at first because it is so in line with the escalating kind of behavior we're seeing from western fascist leaning governments these days.

    What can I say... /. got me.
    • I thought Emperor Blair announced these new measures to protect our freedoms from terrorists last week? I'm sure he wasn't lying because naturally he never lies, and I would report anyone who says he does to my nearest Blair Re-education Facility.
      • Ah..yes. You're a good citizen photoboy...

        - And for anyone who says differently...well, the gestap..uh, i mean homeland security protectors are always looking for someone to investigate for "terroristic thoughts."

        - it's the best way to deal with people who disagree just make the the call to the anonymous "report on your neighbors" line and problem solved!

        I just don't get these people who talk abut "freedom" all of the time. Don't they know that safety is the new freedom? I mean, without the government keepi
  • This story is a somewhat less worrying than the Government's compulsory weighing and enforced fitness regime that is under discussion. Seems that many kids of an age to be called up are too fat and wouldn't be able to handle the assault course at boot camp. Each school / college is to provide a list of overweight students on request.
  • I love the 'lame' tag! Sums the whole story up really.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson