Last night (my birthday, btw) Prodos and I went to a dinner/lecture at the Adam Smith Club here in Melbourne. Tim Warner was the guest speaker, and his topic was the impending legislation to create a “smart card” to be used to identify evey resident in Australia.
While the card promises to cut down on red tape for citizens and the government in a number of ways, the dangers of having such a card are far worse than the advantages.
If you would like to know why Tim Warner urges Australians to reject the access card, you can listen to Prodos’s interviewwith Tim at PRODOS WORLDWIDE.
The basic argument against the card is that the very efficiency that makes it appealing is also the efficiency that will make the card dangerous in more ways than one. And the claim that it will help fight terrorism is completely bogus.
Tim is also creating a websitethat will include notes from his speech, informational links,and handouts that Australians can print out and hand around. The site is under construction at Access Card No Way.
But even if you are not living in Australia, you might as well read up on this scheme now, because it’s not something that is going to remain peculiar to Australia. Britain is further down this road than we are, and you can bet that many other countries are eyeing the card and will be watching what happens in the countries that go first.