IDENTITY CARDS A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE | Government and Political Conspiracies | Forum

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
IDENTITY CARDS A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
February 1, 2010
5:43 pm
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Electronic identity (ID) cards have made alarming progress towards becoming universal around the world.

...one ID number is the key to access all services and also all databases... When numerous databases are linked together by means of a common interface, in this case ID numbers, they effectively function as a single "meta-database".

Already, over 2.2 billion people, or 33 per cent of the world's population, have been issued
with "smart" ID cards. Of those cards, over 900 million have biometric facial and fingerprint systems.

On present plans, over 85 per cent of the world's population will have smart ID cards by 2012. Most of the remaining population won't have escaped: largely, they are already enrolled
in earlier-generation ID systems, often in repressive states such as Myanmar
(Burma).

Understandably, campaigns against the introduction of ID cards have tended to play up the problems with ID systems, presenting them as being unworkable and creating unmanageable problems with privacy invasion, fraud, unauthorised database access, organised crime, unreliability of biometric recognition, etc. As a result, a substantial number of people believe mandatory ID cards "just won't happen".

It's long past time to stop burying our heads in the sand. There are no obstacles to the worldwide introduction of mandatory electronic ID cards.

All those problems with ID systems may be real, but they are not enough to stop implementation, primarily because these are problems that will affect people as individuals, not their governments—our problem, not theirs.

There has been hardly any meaningful debate about one of the biggest issues of our time.
It's also time to look at what ID systems are really intended to do, not at the public justification for them. Since governments probably always knew that ID cards wouldn't stop terrorism, organised crime, ID theft, fraud, etc., there has to be some other reason for their introduction—and it appears to be a reason that governments don't want to own up to in public.

A Coordinated International ID Agenda?

Perhaps we can learn more if we look at what is going on around the world.

Interestingly, nobody seems to have published a comprehensive or reliable
survey of worldwide ID schemes, so a survey had to be compiled for this
article, What stands out from this survey, incomplete as it may be, is that advanced
electronic ID card systems are coming to some of the poorest nations in the
world, some in chaos, civil war and starvation, both small and large countries.

They are coming to nations with vastly divergent cultures, to nations that are
almost completely pre-industrialised and underdeveloped, and coming first
to almost all Islamic nations.

The few that will not have advanced electronic population registration will be in a tiny minority. This is all to happen by the end of 2012.

For example, on 25 June 2009, India announced it is pressing
ahead with the introduction of universal biometric ID cards, to be completed
by 2011—to register nearly 1.2 billion people within just 18 months.

However, there are grey areas. For example, in some states, such as Mozambique and Zambia, there are biometric ID cards for voter registration which aren't officially national ID cards but nonetheless have registered the population.

"Election cards" tend to become national ID cards immediately after an election, as in Haiti. (How did
introducing ID cards get linked to "bringing in democracy"?) The USA would probably be in the grey
area due to the uncertainty (deliberately not clarified) about the Real ID Act, Canada due to proposals for biometric "enhanced drivers licenses", and Australia due to the uncertain status of the Access Card. Any uncertainty gets put into perspective by the "big picture": ID cards are coming, almost everywhere.

The simultaneous introduction of very similar ID card systems in so many nations seems more than a
coincidence. If it were purely a matter of nations taking their own initiative to upgrade systems, this would happen over a longer timetable as nations periodically updated systems once every couple of
decades. Does this timetable indicate unseen international
pressure applied to nations to adopt ID cards?

In the process of researching the list, something interesting came out. The plans to introduce a national ID card system in Uganda were announced in a memorandum of understanding, dated 20 June 2008, sent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The impression is that the IMF was involved in the decision long before the people of Uganda were
consulted about their national ID card scheme.

Has the IMF required nations to adopt biometric ID cards, on the pretext of instigating financial regulation and preventing fraud and money laundering? Again and again, in the public description of the alleged benefits of biometric ID systems, the reasons given include the benefit to the banking system, in preventing fraud, and allowing the poor to have access
to the banking system.

Several nations (e.g., India) have mentioned the need to confirm that aid gets to the intended recipients and is not lost in fraud—again, something which a body such as the IMF might see as a justifiable reason to promote or require biometric ID, but other people would see as a mere pretext for "policy laundering".

In a different example of western promotion, the European Union (EU) has financially sponsored the
introduction of biometric ID cards in the Democratic Republic of Congo, allegedly to help promote peace by tracking down ex-soldiers and ex-fighters.

A similar logic has been applied to a biometric scheme in Somalia.
Grotesquely, biometric ID cards are coming to Rwanda. ID cards were a major tool in the Rwandan
genocide. Imagine how much more effective the genocide could have been with a computerised
population register and an ID system with biometrics to prevent fraud or evasion. Rwanda's experience is an horrific illustration of how lethal ID cards can be in a nation in civil war, and raises uncomfortable questions about western involvement, as does the situation in Congo.

Policy Harmonisation in the EU, UK and USA The worldwide introduction of ID cards is merely the
visible witness of an invisible process. Policies that profoundly affect our lives and take away our freedoms are worked out in secret international deals.
In July 2005, during its sixmonth rotation in the Presidency of the EU, the United Kingdom introduced a proposal for biometric ID cards for Europe despite the fact that it had no power to do so under the EU treaties at that time.

Legalities being no obstacle, this subsequently evolved into binding EU policy in the Hague Programme on justice and security. However, policies introducing ID cards, evolved in secret, go far beyond identification and security, as described by Tony Bunyan of Statewatch in an article in the Guardian ("The surveillance society is an EU-wide issue", 28 May 2009; includes quotations from Bunyan's
Statewatch report, "The Shape of Things to Come").

ID cards are only one tool, enabling a much larger scheme to track and record the life of every individual; Bunyan calls this the "digital tsunami".

'Every object the individual uses, every transaction they make and almost everywhere they go will create a detailed digital record. This will generate a wealth of information for public security organisations', leading to behaviour being predicted and assessed by 'machines' (their term)
which will issue orders to officers on the spot. The proposal presages the mass gathering of personal data on travel, bank details, mobile phone locations, health records, internet usage, criminal records however minor, fingerprints and digital pictures that can be data-mined
and applied to different scenario[s]—boarding a plane, behaviour on the Tube or taking part in a protest.

But this isn't just coming to Europe, as Bunyan explains, because the USA and Europe will share similar policies and practices in an agenda of policy harmonisation:

It is proposed that by 2014 the EU needs to create a 'Euro- Atlantic area of cooperation with the USA in the field of freedom, security and justice'. This would go far beyond current co-operation and mean that policies affecting the liberties and rights of everyone in Europe would not be determined in London or Brussels but in secret EU–US meetings.

Was this a response to 9/11? No, emphatically not. We can say this because some of these schemes have a published history and timeline dating from much earlier, e.g., Taiwan, 1997, and India, 1999. We can trace a continuing pursuit of ID-based databases back to the Australia Card, which was defeated in 1987. We can also say with certainty that EU–US cooperation on security pre-dates 9/11, as does EU development of security databases which have been applied to political protestors.

What Do ID Cards Do?
The new cards are like a high-tech "glue", an interface, joining together all the different state databases and linking their information together. This is the significance of the "multifunctional"
identity function of the new cards: one ID number is the key to access all services and also all databases. One card, one number, tracks a person across multiple activities, across their whole life and everything they do—employment, tax, health, everything. When numerous databases are linked together by means of a common interface, in this case ID numbers, they effectively function as a single "meta-database".

In the Guardian (30 September 2003), home affairs editor Alan Travis wrote that the "citizen information register" in Britain will "bring together all the existing information held by the government" on its 58 million residents:
It will include their name, address, date of birth, sex, and a unique personal number to form a 'more accurate and transparent' database than existing national insurance, tax, medical, passport, voter and driving licence records... The decision to give the go-ahead to the national population register without any apparent need for new legislation or any public debate is in sharp contrast to the intense cabinet debate now taking place over the...identity
card scheme...

...The scheme is a joint project between the Office of National Statistics and the Treasury... The idea was developed by the Treasury's public services productivity panel—a group of senior business people and public services managers...
[The Home Office] admitted a national identity card scheme will have to be 'underpinned by a database of all UK residents' and asked for views on whether the citizens information register should be used for this purpose...

The Indian ID scheme is another major example. According to an article in the Hindu (26 June 2009):
...the UID [Unique IDentification] numbers and the database will be linked to agencies such as the Election Commission of India and the Income Tax Department, which...issue...voters photo identity
cards... In addition, it will be used for providing services under government
schemes such as the public distribution system, and the National Rural Employment Guarantee
Scheme for families living below the poverty line...and for delivering financial and other assistance to the needy.

This is the new model for egovernment around the world.
Historically, this isn't the first time we have seen systems like this. It is very similar in concept to the Nazi ID system, as it finally evolved, with a Reich Personnel Number to link all other
databases. The system of compiling the initial population register from records in existing, earlier
databases is, again, very similar to Nazi practice.

Why should this be significant? Why should there be any big deal about the government collecting together data that it already has?

As reported by Henry Porter in his Guardian blog (25 February 2009):
'Once an individual has been assigned a unique index number, it is possible to accurately retrieve data across numerous databases and build a picture of that individual's life that was not authorised in the original consent for data collection,' says Sir David Omand in a report for the Institute for Public Policy Research... In 2006 Sir David Varney, the head of Transformational Government, predicted that the state would know 'a deep truth about the citizen based on their behaviour, experience, beliefs, needs or desires'.

Loyalty Cards and Data-Gathering

Let's not talk about a police state, let's talk about supermarket loyalty cards. There isn't much difference between them in terms of technology, and modern ID cards seem to be close descendants of loyalty cards, intended for a similar purpose: gathering information about people. To be able to track someone, first you need to identify them.

Corporations want to know as much as they can about their customers, for marketing purposes, and have made an incredible investment in infrastructure for gathering and analysing data about them. By 2004, Wal-Mart had gathered 460 terabytes of information about customers,
or more than twice the total information on the Internet.1 The majority of this data came from
loyalty cards.

Governments have adopted electronic ID cards because stores have shown what powerful and
effective technology they are—not merely effective, but cost-effective.

Stores have demonstrated that they can track and profile their customers to find their spending habits, their weaknesses and their suggestibility, what advertising works on them.
The technology they use not only had to prove it could work, but also had to prove it could pay for
itself. If supermarket corporations invest as much as they do, the technology has to be
very effective.

Powerful and effective software, such as ChoicePoint and LexisNexis, has been developed for analysing stores' loyalty card data. Now we find some of those systems in use at the FBI to shortlist suspects.

2. Governments have realised that this same profiling technology works and can also be applied to finding terrorists, "extremists", political dissidents or any other category of interest to the state. Some of those companies also help in data-gathering.

When the US government obtained personal data about voters in 11 different Latin American states, for unspecified purposes, that data was obtained by private corporations including ChoicePoint.
It has been reported that the majority of US intelligence data-gathering is outsourced and that
about 70 per cent of the budget goes to private corporations.

Although the majority of this spending goes to military-defence corporations such as SAIC and Booz
Allen Hamilton, consumer corporations also take their place. So, do we see an evolving symbiosis between government and private corporations, where they share technology and tools and cooperate in data-gathering?

RFID: A Powerful Tracking Technology

One of the tools that has migrated from loyalty cards to ID cards is RFID (radio-frequency ID). It's in the new Chinese ID card and it's going into all the new "smart" ID cards.

RFID is a tracking system, originally developed to track stock in the supply chain and in warehouses. Tiny chips allow a serial number and potential other data to be read from a distance of up to several feet. When an RFID-tagged item passes a reader, its number is recorded.

When RFID readers are connected to a network, it is possible to compile a record of the movements of an object (or person) by listing the times and places when and where the RFID
number was recorded.

RFID in loyalty cards allows the cardholder's name and all the personal information on the card to be read from a distance of several feet, without the cardholder's knowledge.

Using RFID, stores can read your identity from your loyalty card as soon as you walk in, without your
realising. Now we are being issued with government "loyalty
cards" which will identify us by RFID.

The stores realised that, by placing readers at various locations, they could use RFID to track customers' movements—to see, for example, the products they looked at but did not buy, in addition to those they did.

RFID has an obvious application: the identities of everyone in a crowd could be collected by one mingling plain-clothes policeman with an RFID reader.

Very quickly, the stores also realised that RFID in products such as clothing items could be used to track the movements of the people who bought them. Unlike bar codes, RFID identifies each item with a unique serial number, differentiating identical items.

The chain stores' huge databases allowed them to keep a tally of which objects had been bought by which customers—putting names to RFID serial numbers.
This extra information was very powerful in "profiling" customers; for example, they started to get data about who was standing next to them, and they could guess whether customers shopped alone, with their husbands or wives, or with someone else.

Soon the stores will be able to read the RFID serial number in your national ID card in much the same way, and governments are going to sell ID confirmation to cross-reference the serial number on your ID card with your name and address. Stores spend a lot of money acquiring data, so knowing customers' names and addresses with certainty has really got to be worth something. Customers will no longer be able to hide their identities or give false names on loyalty cards.

When Employers Use Profiling Some corporations already apply psychometric profiling to their staff and potential employees to get a workforce with the "right" profile, the "right" attitudes. Imagine how RFID tracking and profiling could facilitate this, profiling individuals' whole lives. By enabling ubiquitous tracking and profiling, could ID systems herald a corporate culture of conformity, with enforced redundancy for those who don't fit the right profile?

There have been widespread examples of employers discriminating against individuals on the grounds of political or union affiliations.
The UK Information Commissioner's Office found that many very large and respectable companies had
engaged in illegal practices to do this.
What would happen if employers used data gleaned from ID systems and social networks analysis to profile staff, to find their friends and associates and any affiliations? What would it mean to society and political culture if corporate employers could identify and discriminate against political and union activists, making it hard for them to get a job? Would that be compatible with democracy?

Emeritus Professor Sheldon S. Wolin, a political philosopher at Princeton University, USA, has warned of the danger of "inverted totalitarianism", as he calls it, which "lies in wielding total power without appearing to, without establishing concentration camps, or enforcing ideological uniformity, or forcibly suppressing dissident elements so long as they remain ineffectual". Such power, as in the USA, shows "how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed". (Chellis Glendinning, "Every Move You Make", CounterPunch.com, 19 June 2008)

Imagine if the power of the surveillance state were applied to controlling political dissent, especially in an environment of merger between state and corporate power. Imagine dissidents being driven from their jobs or, perhaps more subtly, just denied promotion. Imagine how detailed files on the psychological weaknesses and vulnerabilities of all individuals, generated by profiling, and records of any past

indiscretions could be used to apply pressure upon opponents to government policy. Population Surveillance and Social Control China has become a laboratory for both capitalism and the development of new technologies for surveillance and "homeland security".

Naomi Klein has written extensively about this in her book The Shock Doctrine (Picador, 2008) and in articles such as "China's All- Seeing Eye" and "The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0" (http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2008?page=1).

Some powerful people appear to have decided that capitalism works best in conditions of inequality and injustice. A by-product of this is instability: bitterness and resentment due to the appropriation of land and resources and forcing peasants off the land to become sweatshop workers living in unbearable slums. This is about the rich getting richer by robbing ordinary people, co-opting the
power of the state to do so. This is the reason for the high incidence of riots, "disturbances" and social tension in contemporary China.

None of this troubles the West. What the West has tried to do, however, is guarantee China's stability and help keep a lid on any trouble by providing China with access to the latest surveillance and security technology, to make it a more effective dictatorship. New technologies that are found to work in the social laboratory of China can be adopted and applied elsewhere.

A good example of this would be facial recognition technology, supplied to China by the US, illegally but with a nod and a wink, to make it easier for the Chinese authorities to identify troublemakers in a crowd or simply follow the movements of people of interest and perhaps identify any people whom they meet and talk with. Recognition systems now can match one face in a million, good enough to find one face in a city.

How neatly this dovetails with the database of digital images provided by China's ID system.

RFID also has applications in the state security apparatus. China is issuing hand-held RFID readers to
its policemen so they can take people's identities from their ID cards. It has the highest incidence of riots of any country in the world, due to the severe social conditions and inequality.

China has adopted the practice of containing disturbances rather than wading in to break them up; instead of arresting rioters on the spot, the police merely identify them—to arrest one by one at their
convenience.

CCTV and surveillance technologies are used for this identification. RFID has an obvious application: the identities of everyone in a crowd could be collected by one mingling plain-clothes policeman with an RFID reader.
The RFID facility can also be useful to states with mobile populations. India is anticipating the migration of large numbers of the rural population to the cities. It plans to use a combination of RFID and GPS-based Geographical Information Systems (GIF) to automatically record the voter migration or shifting of residence and to automatically update databases such as the electoral register.

One can also see how useful this would be to the Chinese authorities, with large numbers of rural peasants migrating to cities, illegally, to work as an untraceable, unstable underclass. So, is this the model to be applied elsewhere: increasing inequality, increasing slum populations and unrest controlled through security? Such displacement is a global phenomenon. And yes, the World
Bank has an explicit role in promoting this, saying that urbanisation and migration are good and necessary things.

As described in Professor Mike Davis's book Planet of Slums (Verso, 2007), a huge part of the
world's population lives in slums—a symptom of growing inequality and increasing
exploitation. It's a trend that' ramping up.

In the USA, cities are dying, with whole neighbourhoods and in some cases whole districts being bulldozed, their inhabitants dispossessed. The plight of Detroit residents is reminiscent of post-Katrina New Orleans, with private military contractors assuming government powers in Urban Management Zones designated for wholesale clearance. This is the western manifestation of a global pattern. In 2009, the US Census Bureau plans to find even the people who have lost their homes, by employing 140,000 temporary workers to look for hidden and improvised housing units and obtain GPS coordinates for every "front door". A current legal case may make that data available to private sector corporations.

The worldwide implementation of systems for population surveillance and monitoring has to be significant. It doesn't sound like it is part of making the world a kinder, nicer place.

It's incredible how much people have willingly cooperated in handing over their
personal information, cooperating in the surveillance of their lives.

What Can We Do?
We shouldn't close on such a bleak note because it simply isn't true that there is nothing we can do,
although we have left it pretty late. We have a good chance if we recognise what's going wrong. We need to:

1. Organise internationally.
One campaign group is slightly ahead in this area: CASPIAN (Consumers
Against Surveillance, Privacy-Invasion And Numbering). It has an international membership, works closely with other groups in different nations and addresses the bigger picture, including corporate
data-gathering and RFID.

The author suggests CASPIAN as a good initial hub for contact.

2. Raise awareness,
Engage the public. It's time to raise this issue at every opportunity to get people
thinking about the direction of public policy, to draw their attention to what’s
going on.

3. Expose the mindset of people implementing this scheme.
The aim of ID cards is to create a detailed digital record of everywhere you go, everything you do. The aim of the RFID industry is Total Mobility— continuously tracking the movement of all significant objects and people. What kind of mind and personality would want such a thing?

4. Don't use cards, use cash.
It's incredible how much people have willingly cooperated in handing over their personal
information, cooperating in the surveillance of their lives. Try not to leave a digital record. Don't let
your card identify you.

Endnotes
1. Albrecht, Katherine and Liz McIntyre, Spychips: How
major corporations and government plan to track your every
purchase and watch your every move with RFID, Nelson
Current, 2005, p. 64, "There's a target on your back"
2. Gellman, Barton, "The FBI's Secret Scrutiny: In Hunt
for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary
Americans", Washington Post, 11/06/05

This version of Nathan Allonby's article "ID
Cards – A World View", posted on the Global Research
website on 31 August 2009.

August 13, 2012
7:45 am
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Revealed: TrapWire spy cams' ticket to Australia

A shadowy private security company with deep links to the CIA - and a parent company awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in Australian government transport contracts - is operating a pervasive global surveillance and facial recognition network on behalf of law enforcement.

Over the past few days the internet has been abuzz with revelations regarding TrapWire, an analytical system that integrates with surveillance cameras to capture photographs or video evidence of "suspicious activity".

All Australians should be concerned about the outsourcing of Australian government (or military operations) to foreign-owned, private contractors with links to spy agencies.

TrapWire is owned by the multinational conglomerate, Cubic Corporation, which in 2010 signed a $370 million contract with the NSW Government to provide Sydney's electronic ticketing system for public transport, based on the London Oyster card system.

Asher Wolf ... the Melbourne single mum taking on the surveillance state.
In April this year it was awarded a $65 million contract to provide services to CityRail and also runs the Brisbane "go card" system.

Advertisement Fairfax is seeking comment from the government about whether there have been any consideration of bringing the TrapWire system here.

[highlight=#ff40ff]The TrapWire story began late last week, when emails from a private intelligence company, Stratfor - originally released as part of WikiLeaks's Global Intelligence Files in February - appeared online.[/highlight]

The emails and other documentation revealed TrapWire is installed in some of the western world's most sensitive locations - including the White House, 10 Downing Street, New Scotland Yard, the London Stock Exchange and five hundred locations in the New York subway system. Trapwire is also installed in many Las Vegas casinos.

An Australian single mother who online is an anti-surveillance state activist known as Asher Wolf is leading a campaign to expose the clandestine operation, which was created in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks and has been operating without public scrutiny for years.

Australia is leading the way in development of facial recognition technology and Australian government agencies have reacted enthusiastically to it.

The founder of TrapWire is 30-year Central Intelligence Agency veteran Richard Hollis Helms. Several of TrapWire's top managers are also former CIA officers. It is part of security company Abraxas Corporation, which reportedly holds sensitive and lucrative contracts involving activities such as creating fake identities for CIA officers.

In December 2010 Cubic Corporation bought Abraxas for $US124 million.

The aim of TrapWire is to prevent terrorist attacks by recognising suspicious patterns in activity. It forwards its reports to police departments across the US and law enforcement organisations such as FBI and US Department of Homeland Security.

Helms said in a 2005 interview that TrapWire "can collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition, draw patterns, and do threat assessments of areas that may be under observation from terrorists."

In 2007 the company said that it analyses each aspect of a security incident and "compares it to all previously-collected reporting across the entire TrapWire network. Any patterns detected - links among individuals, vehicles, or activities - will be reported back to each affected facility."

In addition to analysing surveillance footage TrapWire also operates "see something say something" citizen reporting campaigns in Las Vegas, New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles and all reports received are collated in the TrapWire database, analysed by the company and forwarded to law enforcement.

While it appears that TrapWire does not operate in Australia, its parent company Cubic holds several large Commonwealth, NSW and Queensland government contracts. It operates in Australia as Cubic Transportation with offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. In 2008 it also opened a defence subsidiary based in Queensland, Cubic Defence Australia, run by Mark Horn.

Cubic Defence Australia has won about $32 million in contracts with the Australian defence force, mainly providing combat simulation and training systems.

Comment is being sought from Cubic about the links between their work in Australia and TrapWire.

Ms Wolf, 32, whose father survived a Siberian gulag during World War II and grandmother at 15 had her thumb cut off by Soviet Union secret police, said she had personal motivations behind her campaigning for civil liberties.

"All Australians should be concerned about the outsourcing of Australian government (or military operations) to foreign-owned, private contractors with links to spy agencies," she said.

She said there were inherent conflicts of interest with profit-driven private contractors working in national security. Ms Wolf is also concerned about Australian law enforcement demands for telco data retention and a lack of adequate time for public consultations during the inquiry into national security legislation reforms.

"They're drowning in data and I don't believe it's helping national security, I believe it's making us more insecure because we don't know where to look at real threats," she said.

Ms Wolf, who has a three-year-old son, said "it was definitely more interesting to be scrolling through tweets on info-warfare than watching 3am infomercials while breastfeeding".

The online hacking collective Anonymous has also bought into the issue. They are trying to organise an event called "smash a cam Saturday", where they provide the internet addresses of US security cameras attached to the TrapWire network, and then provide instructions to supporters about how to hack them.

According to Cubic's 2011 annual report, its revenues in Australia have ballooned to $115 million in 2011, up from $39.9 million in 2009.

"The primary reasons for the increase in gross margins from services in 2011 were the improvement in margin and increase in service revenue related to our transportation business in the U.K and Australia as well as the gross margin from 2011 Abraxas sales since the acquisition in December 2010," the annual report reads.

A search on Cubic's websites reveals no information about Abraxas or TrapWire. The page on TrapWire's website outlining its executives and their links to the CIA has recently been removed.

On its website TrapWire says it was founded in 2004 to build and deploy counter-terrorism technologies "in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks". It seeks to prevent such attacks from occurring in the future and boasts on its website that its technology can "detect patterns of behavior indicative of pre-operational planning".

US authorities were criticised after the al Qaeda attacks of 2001 over failings in information sharing, and part of TrapWire's appeals appears to be that it is designed to make it easier to share information across a global surveillance network. Despite the pervasiveness of its monitoring, it states one of its advantages is that it does not share "sensitive of personally identifiable information".

The internal TrapWire emails were obtained by hackers when they broke into Stratfor Global Intelligence, which had a partnership deal with TrapWire which saw Stratfor earning an eight per cent finder's fee for any clients it referred to the Cubic company.

Separately, a Microsoft-powered police surveillance system is being installed in New York City that connects thousands of New York Police Department and private security cameras in the city, recording and archiving up to 30 days worth of footage at a time. Police can backtrack through the footage when investigating crimes. Microsoft plans to offer it up to other cities around the world.

October 28, 2012
9:51 am
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

India to compile 'world's biggest' ID database

World's biggest biometric ID scheme forges ahead.

India has launched a huge national identity scheme aimed at cutting fraud and improving access to state benefits.

India's first 'Unique Identity' village

Using biometric methods, including an iris scan, the system will log details of India's population of more than one billion people on a central database.

It was launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi in western India.

The data will be stored online in what India says will be the biggest such national database in the world.

The unique identification (UID) programme will help those in poor, marginalised communities who find it difficult to access public services and benefits because they do not have official records, officials say.

The government expects to give a UID number to every Indian citizen within four years.

Birth registration is not universal and it is hoped that the database will give an accurate picture of Indian society.

'Special moment'

The new ID scheme was launched in the village of Tembhili in Nandurbar district of western Maharashtra state.

The government says better ID will mean benefits are delivered more fairly
The ID numbers were handed out to 10 people, including three children.

The tiny village of 1,500 people was colourfully decorated and the villagers were excited to see Congress chief Sonia Gandhi - who smiled and waved at them - although few locals knew what the scheme was about, the BBC's Prachi Pinglay reports from Tembhili village.

Prime Minister Singh described the start of the process as a "special moment" that would empower the most marginalised in society.

"It will help strengthen the rights of the downtrodden and the poorest, including women," AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

Mrs Gandhi described the launch as a "new beginning" for India.

Billionaire IT expert Nandan Nilekani, who was drafted in by the government to run the project, was also present at the function.

Under the scheme, all Indians will be issued a 12-digit ID number which they will use to receive welfare handouts, to apply for other documents like passports and even to open bank accounts, the BBC's Mark Dummett in Delhi says.

As well as iris scans, photographs, fingerprints and other personal information will be collected and then stored on a vast central database.

The government hopes this will prevent corrupt officials from faking the names of people seeking welfare benefits or access to education - potentially saving billions of dollars.

Critics, however, complain that the project itself will cost billions of dollars and are also worried about the authorities collecting so much personal information.

Others say there is no guarantee that the scheme really will make much of a difference to India's corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy. Some say the focus should be on improving services for the poor, rather than access to them.

[highlight=#ff8040]The world's largest biometric identity exercise, which is taking place in India, is well on its way to reaching its target of half the country's population, reports the BBC's Sanjoy Majumder.[/highlight]

Jahangirpuri is one of the biggest slums in the Indian capital, Delhi, home mostly to rubbish pickers and daily wage labourers.

Today many of them are lined up outside a tiny, single-room office, waiting patiently.

As each one of them goes inside, two young men and women enter their details into a computer before they are photographed and their fingerprints and iris are scanned.

'Every nook and corner'

It's a process that's being repeated at similar centres around India.

For the past two years, the Indian government has been creating the world's largest and most sophisticated database of personal identities. It's part of an ambitious project to hand over a unique identification number (UID) to each of the country's 1.2bn people.

"From the time we began this centre, we've had hundreds of people come by every day," says Col Ravinder Kumar, who manages the Jahangirpuri UID centre.

Among those in the queue is Kamala, a daily wage labourer.

UID chairman Nandan Nilekani says one million are enrolling every day
It's people like her, the poorest of the poor, who are expected to benefit the most from the UID. They have no proper identity papers and therefore no access to services such as subsidised food rations, a phone connection, even a bank account.

"It's so difficult to get anything done without a proper identity," she says. "We're often forced to pay bribes to get subsidised grains or fuel.

"With the UID I hope things will improve - we can buy cheap food and I can help educate my children."

Since its launch in 2010, nearly 200 million UIDs have been generated. The goal is to cover half the population by 2014.

Nandan Nilekani, who used to head one of India's biggest IT companies, Infosys, is now the chairman of the UID project and gives a sense of the logistical scale of the operation.

"We are enrolling at the rate of one million a day. We have over 20,000 locations across the country where this is happening."

"Now we are confident that we have built a system to scale and it's just a question of widening the reach and taking it to every nook and corner."

Furious debate
It's in Jharkhand, 1,200km east of the capital and one of the country's poorest states, that you get a sense of the potential of the UID on the ground.

Villagers line up at the local council office to collect their wages under a flagship government rural employment programme.

Only this time, their pay is being handed out against their newly acquired UID numbers, after their fingerprints are verified.

"The estimate is that the government spends some $60bn each year on welfare programmes," says Rajesh Bansal, assistant director general at the UID headquarters.

Not all of this money reaches those it is meant for. Some of it is held up by red tape, siphoned by middlemen or simply lost due to corruption.

"It makes the system much more transparent because the UID ensures that only the intended beneficiary gets the money and the whole system can easily be monitored," says Mr Bansal.

The UID has also tied up with state-owned banks to enable migrant workers to transfer money from the cities to their families in the villages, using their UID numbers.

Nearly 200 million UIDs have already been issued
But the project has also sparked a furious debate.

There are concerns over its cost, implications for national security and fears that the data could be misused.

"You say you are going to cut out corruption and leakage. Who are the people who are going to control this? The assumption is that technology is neutral and cannot be manipulated," says Usha Ramanathan, an independent law researcher who has been campaigning against the UID.

"What technology does depends on who controls it. You are saying the whole system is corrupt, so let's centralise data and hand it over to the same people. What sense does that make?"

For now the government has agreed to build in safeguards and the UID project is gathering pace.

Many see this as a potential game-changer in India, bringing the country's poorest citizens into the mainstream, reducing waste while ensuring federal welfare money reaches those who need it most.

If handled right, many believe it could change the face of India.

January 1, 2013
2:57 pm
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Pilot for Israel's biometric database to begin in January 2013.

In 2013, Israelis will be able to participate in a two-year trial period of issuing biometric identification documents by submitting fingerprints and a facial scan.

The Knesset approved Wednesday a directive to include biometric means of identification and biometric identification data in identification documents and databases. This means that the trial period of the controversial biometric database will begin in January 2013.

The directive was approved by a joint committee made up of several Knesset committees (Science and Technology, Interior and Environmental Protection, and Constitution, Law and Justice). It details the arrangements for the trial period for setting up the database and issuing “smart” ID cards, based on the law for biometric means of identification and biometric identification data on ID documents and in databases.

Image Enlarger

Under first stage of the pilot program, which will go into effect from January 2013, citizens will be able to voluntarily submit fingerprints and a facial scan in order to receive a smart ID card. After the completion of the two-year pilot program, the aim is to require all Israeli citizens to become part of the biometric database.

The committee said the amended directive “determines the manner of reporting to be sent to the Knesset during the work on the pilot program and toward the end of the pilot period. The directive will set in motion the trial period during which the feasibility of the Biometric Database Law, problems in implementing the law and the dangers of possessing sensitive information will be examined.”

The law, which was passed in 2009, aroused a great deal of opposition, but recently, as a result of a petition to the High Court of Justice by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel and the Digital Rights Movement, the government decided to amend the directive that initiates the law’s trial period. The amendments deal mainly with determining a precise definition of the biometric means of identification and verification, creating indexes to assess the success or failure of the trial period, and safeguarding the information in the biometric database during the pilot.

A summary report to be issued at the end of the pilot will address the various parameters that test the effectiveness of the biometric database, its effectiveness compared to other alternatives, its degree of security and in general, the necessity of having a biometric database and whether it achieves its objectives.

The committee also decided Wednesday to refrain from including minors under the age of 16 in the initiative, in order to protect their privacy. Therefore, participation in the pilot will not be offered to these minors or to their representatives, unless they have submitted a request for a biometric passport.

February 1, 2010
5:56 pm
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Barcode plan to restrict welfare recipients' purchases

February 02, 2010

Australia's Rudd government is investigating barcode technology to enforce spending bans under controversial income management arrangements for people on welfare payments.

At present, retailers are obliged to ensure income management recipients do not use government funds to purchase prohibited items such as alcohol and tobacco. Human Services Minister Chris Bowen has called for industry assistance to identify systems that would allow "product-level compliance" at the point of sale, reducing the burden on retailers.

The system is among a range of technologies solicited in the Better Dealings with Government paper.

Late last year, Mr Bowen signed an $11 million contract with payments provider Indue to operate the BasicsCard program in the Northern Territory and parts of Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, until November 2013.

Anticipating a backlash, Mr Bowen said the reform would not involve a central database. "We will not house an individual's personal, sensitive information in one place, vesting all control with one body or card. This is not an Australia Card," he said.

Mr Bowen said the government anticipated "extensive work on privacy and authentication, as well as opportunities for public-private partnerships".

More than 50 responses to the payments discussion paper have been published, with some companies proving coy on many issues, citing commercial sensitivity and offering private briefings. The suggestion that an electronic barcode compliance system could be used to control welfare spending is provocative.

CSC Australia bluntly warned of the risks of proposing a method that could be used to "detect and prevent" buying patterns inconsistent with government policies.

"The introduction of such a scheme would cause a great deal of public discussion and perhaps controversy," it said. "This begs the question of whether this course of action should be pursued, regardless of its technical feasibility."

The National Welfare Rights Network said the proposal to use product barcode data to "create a computerised record of individual spending and purchasing evoked visions of Big Brother".

"In practical terms, what is being suggested is close supervision and surveillance of the poor," it said. This represented "a massive expansion of a more sophisticated BasicsCard scheme".

The Australian Council of Social Services said the government's move towards "targeted or conditional" payments was an "untested and dramatic change". It said: "The inadequacy of payments is the major financial challenge facing income support recipients, not an inability to budget."

However, BasicsCard provider Indue said government cards could ensure payments were spent for their intended purpose using managed programs, including limiting use to approved merchants, prohibiting cash-out and autoteller access, weekly spending limits and allowing only online transactions.

"We expect systems could cater for changes as and when policy changed, and with enhanced reporting government would be able to identify any misuse either by a merchant or cardholder," Indue said. "As part of the transaction approval process, data on the specific items could be transmitted" and purchases that fell outside the guidelines "could be declined".

Meanwhile, financial institutions supported government moves away from cheques to electronic payments, and chip-enabled cards or mobile services.

The Commonwealth Bank said the volume of cheques had dropped to such a low level that the cost would rise for government users. On the other hand, the latest bank-issued cards could store customer and government data on the internal chip, as well as software that would allow healthcare providers, for instance, to check eligibility for claims.

Internet payments heavyweight Bpay and its member banks believe the time for its long-anticipated Me at My Bank Online (Mambo) is finally at hand, and it would ensure better government payment delivery.

It was originally conceived as enabling customers to pay for online purchases directly from their accounts, rather than by credit card, and there has since been a huge shift in consumer transactions to the internet.

February 1, 2010
7:55 pm
Avatar
greeney2
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 10166
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Australia's Rudd government is investigating barcode technology to enforce spending bans under controversial income management arrangements for people on welfare payments.

At present, retailers are obliged to ensure income management recipients do not use government funds to purchase prohibited items such as alcohol and tobacco.

This is something they don't allow in the USA either, but you know they just cash their checks and buy it anyway. You definatly can not use food stamps or that kind of payment method. I don;t know if I've ever seen anyone use a food stamp in the market, and to be honest I've never actually seen one. I suppose people are embarrassed about them and probabaly discretly hand them to the checker.

The bar code is something that we are so monitored with, it is a conspiracy. We all register at our markets and pharmacy with Ralphs, Vons, CVS card, becasue we all want the discount. You don;t even need the card, just give them the phone number. You pay with a barcode ID, and all the product barcodes you bought are kept in data banks. The checker hands you a fistfull of discounts and "OH BOY, I USE ALL THESE". Duh! they know what you buy and how much you buy it, so they spit out the discounts for the next time, based on your history. Duh! go apply for insurance or a job someplace, and we would probaby be amazed at what they know, from barcode histories. Want a new life insurance policy, they know you buy an "on an average", 82% junk food barcodes, X# of acholhol products , and X# of tobacco products, and you just got done telling them you are a non-smoker, never drink, and eat only organic health food. This information may be shared or sold, just like TRW credit reports. You are part of a database for targeted advertizing. Joe Smo smokes--send him this discount offer. Not only does Joe drink, but he only drinks this or that brand, and drinks tons of it per year.

Corporate America, and maybe the Corporate world knows our entire lives via Social Security numbers, credit cards, bank records, and barcodes. Our locations are known via cellphones and GPS. Even our cars have it with the Star systems, and they have also suggested GPS chips that identify when cars emmisions are out , and automatically report you to your state capital. Where does this end? Sensors that automatically report speeding? Scanners in the roads could easily detect a sensor in the undercarriage of the vehicle that is running a red light. Factories already have unmanned expediter vehicles that, go to and from locations in the plant with parts, using sensors in the floors. Its very scary when you think of what the future could bring. When I went back to robotics school, we learned that programable robots can work 24 hours a day, and workers go home while robots work in the dark with the lights turned off.

Welcome to computer technoloy!

February 1, 2010
8:32 pm
Avatar
sandra
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 3858
Member Since:
December 4, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

"greeney2" wrote:

Australia's Rudd government is investigating barcode technology to enforce spending bans under controversial income management arrangements for people on welfare payments.

At present, retailers are obliged to ensure income management recipients do not use government funds to purchase prohibited items such as alcohol and tobacco.

This is something they don't allow in the USA either, but you know they just cash their checks and buy it anyway. You definatly can not use food stamps or that kind of payment method. I don;t know if I've ever seen anyone use a food stamp in the market, and to be honest I've never actually seen one. I suppose people are embarrassed about them and probabaly discretly hand them to the checker.

Greeney2, in the inner city around here you'd be amased at what I have come accross. Have to mention this- Whenever I go grocery shopping at the local Cub Foods, I get atleast one or two people asking me to buy their food stamps. They are looking for cash, and if they see you with a cart full of groceries, they target you. What they want, when you go up to the cash register to check out they will pay for your groceries in food stamps and you give them a cash vaule percentage afterwards.

Usually they ask you give them atleast half the vaule....$100 dollars groceries in their foodstamps for only $50 dollars of your cash. I'm sure I'm targeted because it is a rougher area of town, and with my coach purse, scarf, and shoes, usually I stand out, didn't realise anything like that until last week why people might be asking me soo much, so now I make sure to wear a sweat outfit, and only stop in that store if I'm picking up a couple things. Probably sounds ridiculous but otherwise I give in because I'll feel guilty. However I don't believe these specific women are looking for money for diapers or household items, and if they have food stamps they are not starving nor is their family. 😕

So on the idea of tracking these transactions, it wouldn't show up they were purchasing anything other than what they should be when alot of them are cashing in?

rath, that was a great article, I will write more later concerning the subject. 🙂

“Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great
astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”
“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.”
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

February 1, 2010
9:29 pm
Avatar
greeney2
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 10166
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sandra, I would not do that anymore to give you some advise. I do a lot of Ebay stuff and they no longer allow payments by checks or money orders, they stopped money transfers a long time ago. I personally never had a problem, but now they only allow paypal, mostly becasue they own them.

The problem was personal money orders were no more than computer generated checks, and people thought they were getting legitimate money orders. They also had many counterfiet brand names, particualarly western union. Counterfeit or stolen cashiers checks and money orders were easy to do on a computer, and I believe counterfeit food stamps are something people are scamming. We used to have many panhandles around and the cops really clamped down on them around here. One lady for years had one street corner and would always bring her child to stand with her. She got to my wife on time in a parking lot. They know how to target certain people that ive to them, only so they go home with a clear conscience.

anyone who has and needs food stamps is scamming to take 50 Cents on the dollar for them. Bottom line is if she gets busted, you will get busted right along with her IMHO. You also never know if its a sting operation, and if you give them less than face amount, I'd undoubtly a crime. I have no idea how you would tell if they are fake, but if they have numbers and are stolen, thats big trouble. These kind of people know how to intimidate people into giving them money. Its hard to say know and they are experts at it. That same lady with the kid, after a few years we would see her at a busy corner, and her boyfriend would also be working the diagonal corner to her.

Don't get yourself in trouble with those panhandles, just tell them flat NO, and walk away from them. The minute you stop to talk, they are working you.

February 2, 2010
5:08 pm
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Food Stamps ...... as in, What communist Russia' handed out Under Stalin.

Australia has nothing of the sort.

Who would let their government get away with such a thing. ...

In Australia .....

Welfare recipients' Such as,

Students ... the Unemployed ..... The Disabled ... stay at home mothers .. Cares .. old age penisoners ..... ect ect

Get between around, $300 - $850 a fortnight ( fortnight = 2 weeks ) but that rate goes higher as other payments are added on to the ( Basic payment ) extras such as rent assistance ... phone allowance, studdy allowance, Travel allowances ...... ect ect

The government payment is deposited into YOUR / the persons bank account, every 2nd week.

you withdraw the cash ........ & do as you please with it.

& that is why the BASICS CARD was created ......

To stop people from doing as they please with the cash & spend the money on food & bills.

On looking after their kids ( if they have kids )

Now, the Australian government still puts the money into your bank account, but in order to access the cash you need the smart card, which is given to you by the Australian government.

The So called smart card is a debit card ..... which prevents you from withdrawing the cash at ATM's or Eftpos machines ..... So its charge only ( like a credit card )

The Smart card via the bar cods & rfi chips, prevent the holder from buying anything that does not have a barcode with the same RFI cods as on the list of approved government items.
Such as.

Food ... Clothing .... bills ... ect ect.

This system is meant to prevent people from withdrawing their wealthfare payments, & buying drugs or alcohol, or spending the money on strippers ... hookers ... gambling.

Ect ect.

http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/i ... 1001en.pdf

"rath" wrote: Barcode plan to restrict welfare recipients' purchases

February 02, 2010

Australia's Rudd government is investigating barcode technology to enforce spending bans under controversial income management arrangements for people on welfare payments.

At present, retailers are obliged to ensure income management recipients do not use government funds to purchase prohibited items such as alcohol and tobacco. Human Services Minister Chris Bowen has called for industry assistance to identify systems that would allow "product-level compliance" at the point of sale, reducing the burden on retailers.

The system is among a range of technologies solicited in the Better Dealings with Government paper.

Late last year, Mr Bowen signed an $11 million contract with payments provider Indue to operate the BasicsCard program in the Northern Territory and parts of Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, until November 2013.

The National Welfare Rights Network said the proposal to use product barcode data to "create a computerised record of individual spending and purchasing evoked visions of Big Brother".
"In practical terms, what is being suggested is close supervision and surveillance of the poor," it said. This represented "a massive expansion of a more sophisticated BasicsCard scheme".
The Australian Council of Social Services said the government's move towards "targeted or conditional" payments was an "untested and dramatic change". It said: "The inadequacy of payments is the major financial challenge facing income support recipients, not an inability to budget."

However, BasicsCard provider Indue said government cards could ensure payments were spent for their intended purpose using managed programs, including limiting use to approved merchants, prohibiting cash-out and autoteller access, weekly spending limits and allowing only online transactions.

http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/i ... 0807en.pdf

http://www.mhs.gov.au/resources/media/r ... d-100m.pdf

Smartcard mooted for federal welfare payments
April 21, 2009

THE federal Government's welfare payment BasicsCard may become a smartcard.
The Human Services Department is preparing to approach the market for an alternative to its magnetic stripe card.

Human Services assistant secretary Brian Olsen said there had been no decision on whether to "exclude or require chip technology".

Plans to open bidding for the welfare card system industry follow an initially restricted tender, won by Retail Decisions, to fast-track the creation of an income management scheme.

Retail Decision's ReD Prepaid Cards arm was paid more than $2.5 million to design, build and operate BasicsCard in the present financial year.

Under the Northern Territory emergency intervention, Centrelink pays half of a person's benefit on to the card, quarantining funds for the purchase of food and other essentials at authorised stores.

Federal Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin has pledged to continue compulsory income management in the NT -- and in two other trial areas -- but the department emphasised that the tender "should not be taken as a sign of an intention to expand the scheme".

Ms Macklin has previously signalled a continuing overhaul of the delivery of social services, including pension reform, in the planned federal budget.

Meanwhile, briefings were held last week on the proposed Income Management Card Replacement Project, seeking industry comment ahead of the release of the tender in June. In particular, the department is trying to fix flaws exposed by the trials.

A serious difficulty is that the card uses the Eftpos network, which means customers are unable to obtain a current balance or check whether money has been paid into the account.

Centrelink has set up a hotline help service, but customers say the process is cumbersome and time-consuming.

It's understood the department may trial new autoteller sub-networks as a channel for balance inquiries. No cash-outs are permitted on the BasicsCard.

These providers already offer low-cost autoteller access to credit union customers, for example, and they are expanding their kiosk networks in response to regulatory changes.

Mr Olsen said the highest priority was to ensure the card was secure and fraud-proof, "because we want to ensure welfare recipients spend money in the interests of their children".

There were no plans to display a photo on the card, he said, and the PIN terms and conditions complied with industry standards.

"The Centrelink system itself does not interface with the Eftpos network," Mr Olsen said.

"For the current BasicsCard, Centrelink only interfaces with the card transaction services provider's system -- that is, Retail Decision's system."

To date, more than 16,500 users have been issued with cards, and nearly 1000 merchants have signed on to the scheme.

The initial rollout resulted in a high percentage of replacement cards being issued as some users failed to understand that funds would be topped up on the cards as payments fell due.

Mr Olsen said no instances of cards being sold or used by others had been reported to Centrelink.

"Most customers retained their original card, but a minority required multiple replacements due to cards being damaged or misplaced," he said.

"We're conducting an education program for those customers at the time of reissue."

Human Services chief technology architect Marie Johnson said last month the plan was to use existing infrastructure, including communications lines and point-of-sale terminals, at no extra cost to stores or customers.

"We pay monthly fees to the provider -- in this case, Retail Decisions -- for a range of services including the provision of card," she told the House of Representatives inquiry into the operation of stores in remote communities last month.

"They also have a number of subcontracted arrangements for switching services and settlement," she said.

The question is

how far do they intend to go with the technology ?

& what do they intend to do with the information ?

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/usingroads/et ... index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myki

June 22, 2010
8:16 am
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Welfare quarantining net to widen

June 22, 2010

THE biggest welfare reform in decades will become law as soon as today, expanding income management to disadvantaged groups across the country.

The federal government released a survey of its own workers yesterday, supporting the controversial measure about to be widened. Welfare quarantining was introduced as a part of the Northern Territory intervention into remote indigenous communities three years ago.

''Nearly 60 per cent of government business managers working in Northern Territory indigenous communities report that views towards income management have shifted favourably since June 2008,'' Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said of the survey. ''The majority of people believe that the [intervention] has had a positive impact on community awareness of nutrition, health, child abuse, education and drug and alcohol-related violence.''

The greatest supporters were women, followed by men with children, she said.

The Senate is expected to pass laws this week that increase numbers on income quarantining. Among those to be included are youth allowance recipients and long-term unemployed.

Income quarantining restricts a portion of welfare to spending on essentials such as food and clothing, and bans items such as alcohol and pornography.

Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) chief executive Clare Martin is yet to be convinced that the intervention is working.

''We've got no evidence,'' Ms Martin said. ''The Prime Minister says he is one for evidence-based policies and this is not. I'd call it anecdotal.''

The expanded system of income quarantining forces people to prove they can spend money responsibly, rather than the other way around. ''In wanting to assist people, they're targeting a whole set of Australians hoping they will have traction on certain individuals,'' Ms Martin said.

The assumption that vulnerable people needed help managing finances painted them as ''money wasters and abusers of children and that's a great sadness'', she said.

UnitingCare Australia National Director Susan Helyar said the cost of the scheme was misdirected. ''There no need for it to be rolled out widely and it's a waste of money to do that,'' she said. The 2009 Survey of Government Business Managers measured the opinions of officials in 62 NT emergency response communities and five prescribed town camps.

Almost half said people had a favourable attitude towards income management, and 63 per cent reported that food was available on a more regular basis. Most workers surveyed said there was a positive impact on community awareness of nutrition, health, child abuse, education and drug/alcohol-related violence.

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 288

Currently Online:
33 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

greeney2: 10166

bionic: 9870

at1with0: 9243

Lashmar: 5289

tigger: 4576

rath: 4297

DIss0n80r: 4161

sandra: 3858

frrostedman: 3815

Wing-Zero: 3278

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 2

Members: 23670

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 8

Forums: 32

Topics: 8548

Posts: 122756

Newest Members:

Donald Mitchell, skippy mccracken, Henweielts, Athena, Athena, Athena, ocodevohu, yxufuguj, Sue Scott, prophetofjustice

Administrators: John Greenewald: 518, blackvault: 1777