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[ NNSquad ] Re: Government webpage for every citizen in the race to create a paperless society

I notice that the main concern expressed in the original post is cost, =
anything philosophical.

Lauren, good point about this idea of the Internet being only a =

Notice also the single identifier that you will use for all your
transactions and relationships. What happened to the idea of being able =
reinvent yourself and move on? This ability has been cited as one of the
features of the American frontier society. Will you every be able to =
beyond a bankruptcy -- whether or not it was your "fault". I put fault =
quotes to emphasize that the concept itself is wrapped in a moralistic
agenda. If you buy a house a year into a bubble is it your fault that =
paid the market price?

On a related point, I see advertisements on TV for "verification" =
that you can use to check out your date and your plumber. Will an arrest =
your past, not a conviction but an arrest, disqualify you for a job or =


   [ We must come to terms with the fact that Internet access is no
     longer a mere "frill" to deal with many aspects of the world
     effectively.  Governments cannot logically treat Internet access
     as a privilege to be revoked, at the same time that they push
     their citizens and other residents to use the Net for routine
     functions!  Plus as you imply, government services via unified
     Internet IDs could be subverted in some pretty horrific ways by
     bad players (inside or outside of government), and at the very
     least could be used to try stamp out legitimate anonymous speech
     in various key contexts.

        -- Lauren Weinstein
           NNSquad Moderator ]


-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=3Dbobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org
[mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=3Dbobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On =
Behalf Of
Lauren Weinstein
Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2010 15:17
To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Government webpage for every citizen in the race to
create a paperless society



----- Forwarded message from Lauren Weinstein <lauren@vortex.com> -----


Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 12:16:08 -0700

From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren@vortex.com>

Subject: Re: [IP] Government webpage for every citizen in the race to =

 paperless society

To: Dave Farber <dave@farber.net>





Remind me again what happens to those persons banned from the Internet

under the "Three Strikes" (and other existing and/or proposed laws) if

such a regime came to pass?  And that's just one of the many reasons

why such a concept is inane. =20


It's one thing to offer online services as a very useful alternative,

but once you make them mandatory, start closing the call centers and

*require* everyone regardless of skill levels to use the Internet for

basic government services, it's a recipe for potential disaster and

effective disenfranchisement of the very people who are often in need

of those services the most -- even if you have a wonderfully designed

and operated computing infrastructure.


This is just the sort of half-baked IT wackiness we've come to expect

from Her Majesty's government of late.  Jeez.



Lauren Weinstein


Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800


Co-Founder, PFIR

   - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org

Co-Founder, NNSquad

   - Network Neutrality Squad - http://www.nnsquad.org

Founder, GCTIP - Global Coalition=20

   for Transparent Internet Performance - http://www.gctip.org

Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com

Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy

Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein



 - - -



On 03/20 14:51, Dave Farber wrote:





> Begin forwarded message:


>> From: Brian Randell <Brian.Randell@ncl.ac.uk>

>> Date: March 20, 2010 2:08:15 PM EDT

>> To: dave@farber.net

>> Subject: Government webpage for every citizen in the race to create a =

>> paperless society



>> Hi Dave:


>> From today's (UK) Times newspaper - for IP if you wish.


>> Cheers


>> Brian


>> ---


>> Government webpage for every citizen in the race to create a =

>> society


>> All public services could be delivered online within four years under =

>> an ambitious pledge by Gordon Brown to create a paperless state and=20

>> save billions of pounds, The Times has learnt.


>> Tens of thousands of public sector jobs could go in Jobcentres, =20

>> benefit offices, passport centres and town halls if face-to-face =20

>> transactions are scrapped in favour of cheaper and more efficient =20

>> online form-filling.


>> On Monday the Prime Minister will announce plans that he claims could =

>> save billions of pounds over four years by making dealing with the=20

>> State as easy as internet banking or shopping on Amazon. Cash will =

>> be saved on postage stamps, telephone calls and government buildings =

>> the switch to the internet leads to the phasing out of call centres =

>> benefit offices.


>> The aim is that within a year, everybody in the country should have a =

>> personalised website through which they would be able to find out =20

>> about local services and do business with the Government. A unique =20

>> identifier will allow citizens to apply for a place for their child =

>> school, book a doctor's appointment, claim benefits, get a new =20

>> passport, pay council tax or register a car from their computer at =20

>> home.


>> Over the next three years, the secure site will be expanded to allow  =

>> people to interact with their children's teachers or ask medical =20

>> advice from their doctor through a government version of Facebook. =

>> union leaders and privacy experts immediately warned that the =20

>> Government's record on IT projects was already catastrophic and there =

>> would be key concerns about privacy, data protection and fraud. In=20

>> addition many elderly, disabled and undereducated people find it=20

>> difficult to carry out transactions online.


>> . . .


>> Full story at:


>> http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7069240.ece



>> Some early cynical commentary on this by Toby Young can be found in a =

>> (UK) Daily Telegraph blog:


>> Broon's latest announcement could cost the taxpayer billions


>> Oh dear. Here we go again. Gordon Brown is due to announce on Monday  =

>> that he wants every citizen to have their own personal webpage within =

>> three years of Labour being re-elected. According to the Prime=20

>> Minister, this will enable them to access a range of public services=20

>> online, allowing them to apply for school places, book GP =20

>> appointments, claim benefits, get a new passport, pay council tax or  =

>> register a car.


>> Sounds like a good idea until you pause to think how much it's going  =

>> to cost. When it comes to delivering cost-effective, large-scale IT =20

>> programmes, New Labour's track record is lamentable. To take just one =

>> example, the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), established in=20

>> 2002, was originally supposed to cost =C2=A32.3 billion over three =
years. In=20

>> 2006, with the Programme far from complete, the National Audit Office =

>> estimated the total cost over 10 years would be =C2=A312.4 billion.=20

>> Officials involved in the Programme now think its cost will be closer =

>> to =C2=A320 billion and it won't be complete until 2014-15, though =
even this=20

>> target - some nine years later than originally planned - is regarded =

>> wildly unrealistic by most seasoned observers. Needless to say, those =

>> bits of the Programme that have come on stream so far are largely out =

>> of date and unworkable. According to Edward Leigh, the Chairman of =

>> House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, "This is the biggest IT=20

>> project in the world and it is turning into the biggest disaster."


>> . . .





>> --

>> School of Computing Science, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon =20

>> Tyne,

>> NE1 7RU, UK

>> EMAIL =3D Brian.Randell@ncl.ac.uk   PHONE =3D +44 191 222 7923

>> FAX =3D +44 191 222 8232  URL =3D





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----- End forwarded message -----