The UK Is About To Get Very Unsafe

February 16, 2007

By fair means and foul, Blair’s government has collected the biggest citizen DNA database in the world. From next year, it will open this and its other identity databases to the other 26 EU nations, exposing Brits to a 20 times higher risk of criminal exploitation and so a 20 times higher risk of fraud.

The news (my ordering):

Police across the EU are to be given free access to Britain’s DNA, fingerprint and car registration databases in a move denounced last night as the creation of “Big Brother Europe”.

Britain also has by far the largest criminal DNA database in the world – 50 times the size of the French equivalent.

When Labour took office in 1997, it held only 700,000 samples. By next year, it will hold the samples of some 4.2 million people – seven per cent of the population – and is growing by about half a million a year.

The next largest DNA database in the EU is in Austria, where less than one per cent of the population is included. Coverage in Germany is half of that.

Britain gives its police greater freedom to obtain, use and store genetic information than other countries, who remove the profiles if the person is acquitted or not charged.

Civil liberties campaigners complain that the British database has effectively become a “permanent list of suspects”. It includes at least 140,000 samples from people never charged with any offence.

The DNA from nearly one million juveniles has been added over the past decade.

British police have millions of fingerprints on file – and this number will grow when they are taken for passport applications from 2009.

This is not a database of felons – it includes all kids and anyone who has contact with the cops – for example the student who complained her classmates wouldn’t talk English. And, unlike the US, these records are never expunged.

Brits opting to stay in the UK maybe don’t mind this intrusion – but they will when they’re defrauded and jailed after their identities are provided to the corrupt EU!

Criminals and terrorists access and modify databases by causing authorized users to sell them /or modify data. The users do that because they’re corrupt or because of threats to their families (a favorite IRA tactic). The criminals and terrorists then:

1. Frame innocents and protect the guilty, by forging fingerprints, spoofing DNA test results and using false number plates.

2. Create fake ID cards (the next Blair scheme) – these will carry the fingerprint biometric, so everyone on the database is exposed to identity theft that will be very hard to counter.

3. Defeat security locks that rely on fingerprints.

Plus some scarier things that it’s not appropriate to make public.

Let’s estimate the increased risk from opening this database up to the EU.

A database is safe in proportion to the number of people that can access it – a database available to 100 users is quite safe because we can vet users carefully, whereas one with 1 million users is not. Secondly, a database with trustworthy users is inherently more secure than one that has criminally inclined users.

Opening this one up to the EU:

        increases the number of users, because the EU is bigger than the UK, and

        increases the number of corrupt users, because the EU is more corrupt than the UK.

In the UK, read access is probably provided to all cops (141,000), the internal and external security services (probably now 10,000), the forensic community (probably 1,000), vehicle licensing officers (probably 1,000), officials in local authorities (probably 25,000), and the political elite (probably 20,000), giving a total of 198,000, which rounds to 200,000. Their trustworthiness will be the same as the UK CPI score, subtracted from 10 (so the lower the result, the more trustworthy).

Hence while it’s restricted to the UK this database has a risk factor of 200,000*(10-8.6) = 280,000.

But now look what happens when it’s opened up to the whole EU. Its member states have population of 487 million compared with the Brit 60 million, so the Brit database will now be accessed by 200,000*(487/60) users – that’s 1,623,333. I’d increase that to include another 80,000 EU officials, to a total of about 1.7 million users.

The population-weighted CPI for the EU is 6.7, so the database risk factor moves to 1,700,000*(10-6.7) = 5,610,000. That’s 20 times the Brit risk factor!

It’s probably worse than this – in my experience honest public officials are rare in nations with CPI scores below 6, and there are 11 EU nations in this category.

So life will become very ugly for Brits on this database – and soon that’ll be all of them.