Discussion:
USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
(too old to reply)
Peter Tomlinson
2004-09-08 06:33:21 UTC
Permalink
In the US they have a Presidential Directive:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/08/20040827-8.html

but in the UK...

I'm sure this will use the GSC-IS spec, which is the generalised version
of the spec for the military CAC. As reported before, it includes space
for the material facts from the card holder's personnel file.

Peter

"Homeland Security Presidential Directive/Hspd-12

Subject: Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal
Employees and Contractors

(1) Wide variations in the quality and security of forms of
identification used to gain access to secure Federal and other
facilities where there is potential for terrorist attacks need to be
eliminated. Therefore, it is the policy of the United States to enhance
security, increase Government efficiency, reduce identity fraud, and
protect personal privacy by establishing a mandatory, Government-wide
standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the
Federal Government to its employees and contractors (including
contractor employees).

(2) To implement the policy set forth in paragraph (1), the Secretary
of Commerce shall promulgate in accordance with applicable law a Federal
standard for secure and reliable forms of identification (the
"Standard") not later than 6 months after the date of this directive in
consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the
Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Director of the
Office of Science and Technology Policy. The Secretary of Commerce shall
periodically review the Standard and update the Standard as appropriate
in consultation with the affected agencies.

(3) "Secure and reliable forms of identification" for purposes of this
directive means identification that (a) is issued based on sound
criteria for verifying an individual employee's identity; (b) is
strongly resistant to identity fraud, tampering, counterfeiting, and
terrorist exploitation; (c) can be rapidly authenticated electronically;
and (d) is issued only by providers whose reliability has been
established by an official accreditation process. The Standard will
include graduated criteria, from least secure to most secure, to ensure
flexibility in selecting the appropriate level of security for each
application.

(4) Not later than 4 months following promulgation of the Standard,
the heads of executive departments and agencies shall have a program in
place to ensure that identification issued by their departments and
agencies to Federal employees and contractors meets the Standard." ...

<snip>
and

" (6) This directive shall be implemented in a manner consistent with
the Constitution and applicable laws, including the Privacy Act (5
U.S.C. 552a) and other statutes protecting the rights of Americans."
Roland Perry
2004-09-08 07:01:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Tomlinson
I'm sure this will use the GSC-IS spec, which is the generalised
version of the spec for the military CAC
"By March 2004, five years since the origin of the project, 4.5
million CACs will have been issued to DoD employees, military
personal, and civilian contractors. A number of large military
facilities are successfully using the CAC in conjunction with
access control systems developed by AMAG Technology specifically
for federal applications."

With apparently a big deployment in the Pentagon; developed and
manufactured by Group 4 in Tewkesbury, UK.
--
Roland Perry
Peter Tomlinson
2004-09-08 07:59:18 UTC
Permalink
Activcard is another company (originally French, I believe, but now
firmly international) heavily involved in the CAC, particularly in the
systems for issuing cards and managing the card population. And I keep
seeing quotes from press releases issued by numerous companies saying
they have won a slice of the action.

Because the CAC was developed in conjunction with mutiple suppliers,
there is interchangeability of components and systems. Also there is a
guaranteed market. The same should happen with the federal card. (Not
that CAC deployment has been without interoperability problems or
without difficulty handling the growing hot-list of lost and blocked cards.)

Peter
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Peter Tomlinson
I'm sure this will use the GSC-IS spec, which is the generalised
version of the spec for the military CAC
"By March 2004, five years since the origin of the project, 4.5
million CACs will have been issued to DoD employees, military
personal, and civilian contractors. A number of large military
facilities are successfully using the CAC in conjunction with
access control systems developed by AMAG Technology specifically
for federal applications."
With apparently a big deployment in the Pentagon; developed and
manufactured by Group 4 in Tewkesbury, UK.
Roland Perry
2004-09-08 08:47:04 UTC
Permalink
(Not that CAC deployment has been without interoperability problems or
without difficulty handling the growing hot-list of lost and blocked cards.)
I find it encouraging when we discover these large roll-out programmes,
as they will serve to debug the technology *ahead* of a mass deployment
of UK ID cards. Some will be hoping that bugs are insuperable, I'm sure.
But it's far from the green field that is often suggested (and is to
some extent implied by the Home Office trial).
--
Roland Perry
Peter Tomlinson
2004-09-08 09:11:05 UTC
Permalink
There are several European smart ID card deployments (some just
voluntary add-ons to existing methods), both inside and outside the EU,
all different in their technology and attitude to the scope and type of
data stored on the cards. Certainly my current experience of talking to
UK public sector people in or knowing about the central spending depts
and agencies is that, in the big monolithic projects, their eyes are
firmly on the grounds of their own projects. The smaller projects and
the distributed projects are the ones to watch.

eGU (successor to OeE) has let a small contract to collect info about
all public sector e-Gov work.

Peter
Post by Roland Perry
(Not that CAC deployment has been without interoperability problems or
without difficulty handling the growing hot-list of lost and blocked cards.)
I find it encouraging when we discover these large roll-out programmes,
as they will serve to debug the technology *ahead* of a mass deployment
of UK ID cards. Some will be hoping that bugs are insuperable, I'm sure.
But it's far from the green field that is often suggested (and is to
some extent implied by the Home Office trial).
Ian Johnson
2004-09-08 09:32:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
I find it encouraging when we discover these large roll-out programmes,
as they will serve to debug the technology *ahead* of a mass deployment
of UK ID cards. Some will be hoping that bugs are insuperable, I'm sure.
Different sorts of bugs I would think. Issuing people cards *they want*
has a totally different threat model to ID cards. Firstly people
aren't going to be deliberately losing or damaging them, secondly the
incentive to criminals to fake a national ID card would be very high.

Regards,

Ian
--
Ian Johnson Tel : +44 117 344 3167
Faculty of CEMS, UWE Bristol Email: irj-***@public.gmane.org
Frenchay Campus, Bristol. BS16 1QY. UK.
Roland Perry
2004-09-08 09:37:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Johnson
Post by Roland Perry
I find it encouraging when we discover these large roll-out programmes,
as they will serve to debug the technology *ahead* of a mass deployment
of UK ID cards. Some will be hoping that bugs are insuperable, I'm sure.
Different sorts of bugs I would think. Issuing people cards *they want*
has a totally different threat model to ID cards.
Although the UK ID cards will be piggy-backed on people who *want* a
driving licence or a passport.
Post by Ian Johnson
Firstly people aren't going to be deliberately losing or damaging them,
See above.
Post by Ian Johnson
secondly the
incentive to criminals to fake a national ID card would be very high.
Whereas terrorists have no incentive to forge a card to get into a US
military (and now federal) site?
--
Roland Perry
Ian Johnson
2004-09-08 10:26:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Although the UK ID cards will be piggy-backed on people who *want* a
driving licence or a passport.
It's very rare I need either. I tend to only need my passport in
August,
and I can't remember the last time I needed my driving licence.
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian Johnson
Firstly people aren't going to be deliberately losing or damaging them,
See above.
What happens will depend on the system that is imposed, what happens if
an electronic passport is non-functioning? how quickly and at what cost
can they be replaced?
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian Johnson
secondly the
incentive to criminals to fake a national ID card would be very high.
Whereas terrorists have no incentive to forge a card to get into a US
military (and now federal) site?
The motivation and numbers are probably very different. Career
criminals
for example are almost certainly more numerous and tend to want to
continue
to live.

Regards,

Ian
--
Ian Johnson Tel : +44 117 344 3167
Faculty of CEMS, UWE Bristol Email: irj-***@public.gmane.org
Frenchay Campus, Bristol. BS16 1QY. UK.
Roland Perry
2004-09-08 15:19:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Johnson
Post by Roland Perry
Although the UK ID cards will be piggy-backed on people who *want* a
driving licence or a passport.
It's very rare I need either. I tend to only need my passport in
August, and I can't remember the last time I needed my driving licence.
What I forgot to add was that this would mop up perhaps 80% of the
population. The other 20% will at least be joining a scheme that's
running smoothly by then.
Post by Ian Johnson
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian Johnson
Firstly people aren't going to be deliberately losing or damaging them,
See above.
What happens will depend on the system that is imposed, what happens if
an electronic passport is non-functioning? how quickly and at what cost
can they be replaced?
We've done the replacement thing to death already. Should be a trip to
the nearest High Street and a thumbprint.
Post by Ian Johnson
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian Johnson
secondly the
incentive to criminals to fake a national ID card would be very high.
Whereas terrorists have no incentive to forge a card to get into a US
military (and now federal) site?
The motivation and numbers are probably very different. Career
criminals for example are almost certainly more numerous and tend to
want to continue to live.
Yes, I agree that there will be an element of arms race in this. There
always is.
--
Roland Perry
Ian Johnson
2004-09-08 15:56:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian Johnson
What happens will depend on the system that is imposed, what happens if
an electronic passport is non-functioning? how quickly and at what cost
can they be replaced?
We've done the replacement thing to death already. Should be a trip to
the nearest High Street and a thumbprint.
I think you missed my point. if HMG offers free replacement in the high
street
(which I feel they should) mine will need replacing *at least* daily,
I'm very careless you see :)

Lets say my passport had undergone several very severe thermal shocks. I
turn
up to board a flight with it, but the chip is non functioning - what
happens
if this is the case for say, half the passengers?

My real point was supportive and cooperative users versus a significant
number
who if offered a spanner will throw it in the works.

Ian
--
Ian Johnson Tel : +44 117 344 3167
Faculty of CEMS, UWE Bristol Email: irj-***@public.gmane.org
Frenchay Campus, Bristol. BS16 1QY. UK.
Owen Lewis
2004-09-08 17:15:21 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 08 September 2004 16:56
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
Lets say my passport had undergone several very severe thermal shocks. I
turn
up to board a flight with it, but the chip is non functioning - what
happens
if this is the case for say, half the passengers?
Then you - or half the passengers will miss your flight. This will
inconvenience you/them but not the other passengers nor the airline.
My real point was supportive and cooperative users versus a significant
number
who if offered a spanner will throw it in the works.
Nah. You'll have to come up with something better.

BTW, you make the argument well for ensuring that replacements are issued
only at full cost. Personally, I can't see any reasonable option to that
but, if only for the presentational advantages, I think that the initial
card issue really should be made 'free of charge'. Of course as we all know
nothing in life is free but central funding of the initial issue of all
cards would be a smart move methinks.

Owen
Roland Perry
2004-09-08 18:31:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owen Lewis
BTW, you make the argument well for ensuring that replacements are issued
only at full cost. Personally, I can't see any reasonable option to that
but, if only for the presentational advantages, I think that the initial
card issue really should be made 'free of charge'. Of course as we all know
nothing in life is free but central funding of the initial issue of all
cards would be a smart move methinks.
Once again, let's look at historical precedent rather than merely
speculating. Look at things like the cost of replacing an existing card
driving licence in various jurisdictions (in the UK, address changes are
free, but a lost card is £19). Or replacing a railway season ticket
(free, but three strikes and you are out).
--
Roland Perry
Owen Lewis
2004-09-08 19:25:07 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 08 September 2004 19:32
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
Post by Owen Lewis
BTW, you make the argument well for ensuring that replacements are issued
only at full cost. Personally, I can't see any reasonable option to that
but, if only for the presentational advantages, I think that the initial
card issue really should be made 'free of charge'. Of course as
we all know
Post by Owen Lewis
nothing in life is free but central funding of the initial issue of all
cards would be a smart move methinks.
Once again, let's look at historical precedent rather than merely
speculating. Look at things like the cost of replacing an existing card
driving licence in various jurisdictions (in the UK, address changes are
free, but a lost card is £19). Or replacing a railway season ticket
(free, but three strikes and you are out).
So what point is it you wish to make? Is there some central thread in that
collection?

Owen
Roland Perry
2004-09-08 20:07:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Owen Lewis
nothing in life is free but central funding of the initial issue of all
cards would be a smart move methinks.
Once again, let's look at historical precedent rather than merely
speculating. Look at things like the cost of replacing an existing card
driving licence in various jurisdictions (in the UK, address changes are
free, but a lost card is £19). Or replacing a railway season ticket
(free, but three strikes and you are out).
So what point is it you wish to make? Is there some central thread in that
collection?
You suggested a free "initial issue", but this seems unlikely given the
current initial issue costs of passport and driving licence, and the
passport agency is run as a cost centre (with costs predicted to
increase as biometrics are introduced).

Certain kinds of replacement are currently free (for example the lost
season ticket or the UK-DL change of address) and others seem to have an
element of "fine" about them (losing your counterpart or card licence
are both as bad as one another at £19 - seems a bit steep for a piece of
A4). Replacing a lost UK passport seems to cost as much as a new one,
and requires a new application as well as the form 'fessing up to the
loss.

Over the water in the USA, a change of DL address is free once every 4
years, and more frequent moves or lost licences cost $15. A lost or
stolen USA Green Card is a stunning $185, and after naturalisation,
don't lose your certificate because that's $210 to replace.

So, on balance, I think that a replacement for a lost UK-ID might well
cost in the region of £20, with initial issue predicted to be somewhat
higher than current passport or DL fees.
--
Roland Perry
Owen Lewis
2004-09-08 21:08:09 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 08 September 2004 21:08
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Owen Lewis
nothing in life is free but central funding of the initial
issue of all
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Owen Lewis
cards would be a smart move methinks.
Once again, let's look at historical precedent rather than merely
speculating. Look at things like the cost of replacing an existing card
driving licence in various jurisdictions (in the UK, address
changes are
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Roland Perry
free, but a lost card is £19). Or replacing a railway season ticket
(free, but three strikes and you are out).
So what point is it you wish to make? Is there some central
thread in that
Post by Owen Lewis
collection?
You suggested a free "initial issue", but this seems unlikely given the
current initial issue costs of passport and driving licence, and the
passport agency is run as a cost centre (with costs predicted to
increase as biometrics are introduced).
The point is that if issue is to be mandatory then it'd sugar the pill for
some if the issue was 'free'. Forty quid to someone whose only income is
sixty-five a week is a near back-breaking sum to be told you *have* to
spend. OTOH for those on a daily fee rate of a thousand it's no more than
another round of drinks. Zo eeesily zey forget, nie?

Of course it'd not be free but that's beside the point. No one (normally)
insists that you buy a passport of a driving licence and therefore your
comparison is not good. N.B for those who *are* required to acquire either
or both of passport and driving licence, issue *is* free in my experience.


Owen
Roland Perry
2004-09-08 21:19:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owen Lewis
The point is that if issue is to be mandatory then it'd sugar the pill for
some if the issue was 'free'.
Yes, I understand that, but unless the issuing agencies are completely
re-financed (so ask Gordon Brown for money) it won't happen.
Post by Owen Lewis
No one (normally)
insists that you buy a passport of a driving licence and therefore your
comparison is not good. N.B for those who *are* required to acquire either
or both of passport and driving licence, issue *is* free in my experience.
I've been required to get or keep (ie re-new when required) both by
various employers. There's never been any suggestion that I could recoup
the cost.
--
Roland Perry
Owen Lewis
2004-09-09 09:01:12 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 08 September 2004 22:20
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
Post by Owen Lewis
No one (normally)
insists that you buy a passport of a driving licence and therefore your
comparison is not good. N.B for those who *are* required to
acquire either
Post by Owen Lewis
or both of passport and driving licence, issue *is* free in my
experience.
I've been required to get or keep (ie re-new when required) both by
various employers. There's never been any suggestion that I could recoup
the cost.
I suggest that all you have been required to do is to decide to purchase one
or both of those documents or to change/refuse that employment. This is just
not the same are being told unconditionally that you *must* possess these
items.

In cases such are yours, I suggest that you are offered a contract of
employment that has certain terms and conditions. Amongst these may be a
requirement, express or implied, to possess and maintain a passport and/or a
driving licence. I suggest to you that if you take such employment you do so
having decided that the emoluments offered with the package are sufficient
to re-imburse you fully for the expense of these personal outgoings. If the
possession of these documents were not stipulated in your contract, either
expressly or by reasonable implication, then your employer needs to
reimburse you for these expenses (by one means or another) if, later, this
requirement is placed upon you.

Surely, you agree?

Owen
--
Roland Perry
Roland Perry
2004-09-09 09:17:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Roland Perry
I've been required to get or keep (ie re-new when required) both by
various employers. There's never been any suggestion that I could recoup
the cost.
I suggest that all you have been required to do is to decide to purchase one
or both of those documents or to change/refuse that employment.
Oh please! That's a bankrupt argument usually heard from single young
men with highly portable job skills working in a market where they'll be
snapped up overnight. Not everyone fits that description.
Post by Owen Lewis
This is just not the same are being told unconditionally that you
*must* possess these items.
Plenty of job descriptions include "must have [clean] driving licence"
and "some element of foreign travel is involved".
Post by Owen Lewis
In cases such are yours, I suggest that you are offered a contract of
employment that has certain terms and conditions. Amongst these may be a
requirement, express or implied, to possess and maintain a passport and/or a
driving licence. I suggest to you that if you take such employment you do so
having decided that the emoluments offered with the package are sufficient
to re-imburse you fully for the expense of these personal outgoings.
In which case, please explain what you meant by:

N.B for those who *are* required to acquire either or both of
passport and driving licence, issue *is* free in my experience.
--
Roland Perry
Owen Lewis
2004-09-09 10:38:09 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 09 September 2004 10:17
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Roland Perry
I've been required to get or keep (ie re-new when required) both by
various employers. There's never been any suggestion that I
could recoup
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Roland Perry
the cost.
I suggest that all you have been required to do is to decide to
purchase one
Post by Owen Lewis
or both of those documents or to change/refuse that employment.
Oh please! That's a bankrupt argument usually heard from single young
men with highly portable job skills working in a market where they'll be
snapped up overnight. Not everyone fits that description.
I see no argument bur an observation of fact.
Post by Owen Lewis
This is just not the same are being told unconditionally that you
*must* possess these items.
Plenty of job descriptions include "must have [clean] driving licence"
and "some element of foreign travel is involved".
Post by Owen Lewis
In cases such are yours, I suggest that you are offered a contract of
employment that has certain terms and conditions. Amongst these may be a
requirement, express or implied, to possess and maintain a
passport and/or a
Post by Owen Lewis
driving licence. I suggest to you that if you take such
employment you do so
Post by Owen Lewis
having decided that the emoluments offered with the package are
sufficient
Post by Owen Lewis
to re-imburse you fully for the expense of these personal outgoings.
N.B for those who *are* required to acquire either or both of
passport and driving licence, issue *is* free in my experience.
To my knowledge certain govt servants. For example, possession of either a
passport or a driving licence, clean or otherwise, are a prerequisite for
induction into military service but may become requisite at some time
thereafter, according to the 'exigencies of the Service'

It used to be (and may well still be) that joining the Armed Services was
the only route to possession of an HGV1 licence at age 17.5. Serve a three
year hitch and come out as a highly employable HGV1 driver with three years
experience and, quite possibly, some supervisory qualification and
experience to boot (one of those young men with 'highly portable job skills'
you were talking about) and at an age when your civvie contemporaries have a
further six months to wait before they can even begin HGV1 training and get
wet behind the ears.

And, AFAIK, *no one* has ever paid for a diplomatic passport. ISTR too that
ordinary passports are also free issue to all govt servants required to live
overseas. In most cases, they'd be paid rather less than you though :-)

Swings and roundabouts?

Owen
Roland Perry
2004-09-09 15:31:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Owen Lewis
I suggest that all you have been required to do is to decide to
purchase one
Post by Owen Lewis
or both of those documents or to change/refuse that employment.
Oh please! That's a bankrupt argument usually heard from single young
men with highly portable job skills working in a market where they'll be
snapped up overnight. Not everyone fits that description.
I see no argument bur an observation of fact.
It's a fact that I can jump in front of a train. Doesn't make it very
practical way of conducting my life.
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Owen Lewis
N.B for those who *are* required to acquire either or both of
passport and driving licence, issue *is* free in my experience.
To my knowledge certain govt servants.
Oh, so they don't get to make this choice between a job and
unemployment, how nice of the taxpayer to stump up for their Driving
Licence and Passports.
Post by Owen Lewis
In most cases, they'd be paid rather less than you though :-)
Currently they'd be paid rather more.
--
Roland Perry
Owen Lewis
2004-09-10 09:22:12 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 09 September 2004 16:31
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Owen Lewis
I suggest that all you have been required to do is to decide to
purchase one
Post by Owen Lewis
or both of those documents or to change/refuse that employment.
Oh please! That's a bankrupt argument usually heard from single young
men with highly portable job skills working in a market where
they'll be
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Owen Lewis
snapped up overnight. Not everyone fits that description.
I see no argument bur an observation of fact.
It's a fact that I can jump in front of a train. Doesn't make it very
practical way of conducting my life.
Well, if you choose to cast yourself as a wage-slave in one of Gradgrind's
mills, that is surely your privilege,
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Owen Lewis
N.B for those who *are* required to acquire either or both of
passport and driving licence, issue *is* free in my experience.
To my knowledge certain govt servants.
Oh, so they don't get to make this choice between a job and
unemployment,
Well, not on the basis of whether they possess a driving licence and
passport anyway. However, lack of a birth certificate can be somewhat of a
stumbling block, though not an insuperable one.
how nice of the taxpayer to stump up for their Driving
Licence and Passports.
Tsk tsk... are you *sure* you want to be a Euro-MP? :) The truth of course
is that govt, rightly, does not expect, its servants to subsidise the public
exchequer by the private purchase of any document prerequisite to the
performance of some public service that, through one of its departments, it
has itself ordered.

This type of practise is by no means unique to govt service; a whole range
of industries either pay the total or else heavily subsidise the acquisition
of documents necessary to perform some duty on their behalf. PSV licences
are one example and commercial pilots' licences may be another

In the case of those who are required to live abroad, there are relocation
packages. In the case of those not required to take up residency abroad but
merely to travel frequently, there are reasonable travel allowances. Now, if
you would like to show that the cost of the requisite passport cannot be
comfortably covered within the average relocation package or within (say) a
year's overseas travel allowances, I'll listen with sympathy.

Owen
Roland Perry
2004-09-10 10:16:00 UTC
Permalink
Now, if you would like to show that the cost of the requisite passport
cannot be comfortably covered within the average relocation package or
within (say) a year's overseas travel allowances, I'll listen with
sympathy.
My own experience, in the commercial sector, of needing to go abroad on
business was that all my travel and hotel costs were paid, and any food
at cost on production of receipts. Everything else, including any vague
"allowance", or overtime, or the cost of getting a passport [1] was up
to me (although on consideration I think the company probably paid for
my USA Visa). You might say that my employer was less considerate than
the public sector appears to be. You could be right. There are many
factors to take into account when selecting (or changing) employment,
but I get irritated when people make flippant remarks as if it was
something you could do on a whim with little financial implication.

[1] I distinctly remember having to go to the old passport office in
Peterborough. If it had been a company expense we'd have done it via the
travel agents, like we did the Visa.
--
Roland Perry
Roland Perry
2004-09-08 18:23:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Johnson
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian Johnson
What happens will depend on the system that is imposed, what happens if
an electronic passport is non-functioning? how quickly and at what cost
can they be replaced?
We've done the replacement thing to death already. Should be a trip to
the nearest High Street and a thumbprint.
I think you missed my point. if HMG offers free replacement in the high
street (which I feel they should) mine will need replacing *at least*
daily, I'm very careless you see :)
I think you'll get very tired of doing that.
Post by Ian Johnson
Lets say my passport had undergone several very severe thermal shocks.
I turn up to board a flight with it, but the chip is non functioning -
what happens if this is the case for say, half the passengers?
The existing card rollouts that keep cropping up are the places to
discover what causes the hardware to fail. The 5 million USA DoD
workers, for example. How often a passenger gets denied boarding will no
doubt be a fundamental parameter for a combined passport/ID card; ask
the places that are deploying them, including several ones that are
electronic.
Post by Ian Johnson
My real point was supportive and cooperative users versus a significant
number who if offered a spanner will throw it in the works.
You'd find yourself denied the opportunity to do various things. Whether
that matters to you is another matter.
--
Roland Perry
Ian G Batten
2004-09-09 07:30:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Johnson
I think you missed my point. if HMG offers free replacement in the high
street
Aside from anything else, with the decline in the number of crown post
offices and a desire by government to fund other programmes by slimming
down the civil service, which arm of government has a branch in every
high street and can cope with this sort of work? And Blunkett is
building a poll tax on a small card anyway, because for many people
(rural, highlands and islands, sink estates) even the ``nearest'' high
street is a difficult journey logistically and/or financially. I want
to watch Blunkett, man of the people, telling a house bound pensioner in
a small highland village that unless she gets herself to Inverness her
pension will be cut off. But then, what's the interests of individuals
as compared to the grandeur of the Home Office?

ian
Roland Perry
2004-09-09 07:59:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian G Batten
Aside from anything else, with the decline in the number of crown post
offices and a desire by government to fund other programmes by slimming
down the civil service, which arm of government has a branch in every
high street and can cope with this sort of work? And Blunkett is
building a poll tax on a small card anyway, because for many people
(rural, highlands and islands, sink estates) even the ``nearest'' high
street is a difficult journey logistically and/or financially. I want
to watch Blunkett, man of the people, telling a house bound pensioner in
a small highland village that unless she gets herself to Inverness her
pension will be cut off. But then, what's the interests of individuals
as compared to the grandeur of the Home Office?
These are all interesting practical issues. I look at what's happened
elsewhere (stop me if you've heard that line before). The State of
Georgia has regions that are probably sparser populated than the
highlands, and is about the size of England (200 miles E/W, 300 miles
N/S) but there's a requirement to issue drivers licenses. They've
achieved that by having over a hundred locations where they've installed
the facilities they need. The one I went to was like a sub-postoffice
tacked onto the side of a highway patrol depot.

By analogy the UK-ID cards could be issued (say) anywhere there is a
municipal library, including the travelling ones. Perhaps not all of
them would be manned five days a week in outlying areas, rather like the
libraries! But people cope. And iirc there were proposed age limits, and
no politician is going to make a martyr of the sort of case you
describe.
--
Roland Perry
Ian G Batten
2004-09-09 18:06:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
N/S) but there's a requirement to issue drivers licenses. They've
achieved that by having over a hundred locations where they've installed
the facilities they need. The one I went to was like a sub-postoffice
tacked onto the side of a highway patrol depot.
The more places you can have a card issued, the more people there are
who can be suborned into issuing fake ones, of course. In Blunkett's
``one card to bind them all'' world, acquisition of a false ID card is
probably more powerful than a false State of Georgia driver's license,
and now you're devolving the power to issue them to large numbers of
lightly trained, lightly motivated, lightly cleared people. How skilled
will they be as document examiners, for example? What threat can be
used to keep them honest, as the ID-card business will be but a tiny
part of their commerce?
Post by Roland Perry
By analogy the UK-ID cards could be issued (say) anywhere there is a
municipal library, including the travelling ones. Perhaps not all of
Libraries are, of course, being closed with monotonous regularity. And
are they the right people to do the document examining, iris prints,
etc?
Post by Roland Perry
them would be manned five days a week in outlying areas, rather like the
libraries! But people cope. And iirc there were proposed age limits, and
no politician is going to make a martyr of the sort of case you
describe.
Why not? Blunkett couldn't give a toss about anyone but himself.

ian
Roland Perry
2004-09-09 19:34:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
N/S) but there's a requirement to issue drivers licenses. They've
achieved that by having over a hundred locations where they've installed
the facilities they need. The one I went to was like a sub-postoffice
tacked onto the side of a highway patrol depot.
The more places you can have a card issued, the more people there are
who can be suborned into issuing fake ones, of course. In Blunkett's
``one card to bind them all'' world, acquisition of a false ID card is
probably more powerful than a false State of Georgia driver's license,
and now you're devolving the power to issue them to large numbers of
lightly trained, lightly motivated, lightly cleared people. How skilled
will they be as document examiners, for example? What threat can be
used to keep them honest, as the ID-card business will be but a tiny
part of their commerce?
Librarians tend to be honest people to start off with, but putting that
aside; yes there are challenges in getting the issuing process both
distributed enough and also rigorous enough. But given that it has to be
distributed, the threat model (remember them) can be developed to give
the required amount of rigor. Or if that's impossible, people will have
to think again.
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
By analogy the UK-ID cards could be issued (say) anywhere there is a
municipal library, including the travelling ones. Perhaps not all of
Libraries are, of course, being closed with monotonous regularity. And
are they the right people to do the document examining, iris prints,
etc?
The library closure issue has been covered in my discussion with David.
And I think Irises will turn out to be a red herring, partly because of
this very issue that the biometric needs to be pretty foolproof. (But if
they didn't at least *try* irises, everyone would nag them about it.)
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
them would be manned five days a week in outlying areas, rather like the
libraries! But people cope. And iirc there were proposed age limits, and
no politician is going to make a martyr of the sort of case you
describe.
Why not? Blunkett couldn't give a toss about anyone but himself.
Whatever you think about the individuals involved, the process will be
discredited if it's not run smoothly enough. That gives those whose job
it is to invent the processes enough incentive, I think.
--
Roland Perry
Ian G Batten
2004-09-10 07:53:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Librarians tend to be honest people to start off with, but putting that
They also tend to be badly paid, and the most honest of men can be
tempted by paying their mortgage off. And they may also have families,
and the most honest of men may be `tempted' by the threat of having
their children harmed. Lone workers with high-value goods are a health
and safety nightmare.

Aside from anything else, I can't believe that any remotely rigourous
will permit the issuing of cards under sole control. Which immediately
doubles the running costs of the libraries you're proposing to use.
Post by Roland Perry
Whatever you think about the individuals involved, the process will be
discredited if it's not run smoothly enough. That gives those whose job
it is to invent the processes enough incentive, I think.
Why? Involvement in a government IT disaster doesn't appear to carry
any penalities for the political, civil service or industry parties
involved.

ian
Roland Perry
2004-09-10 09:03:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
Librarians tend to be honest people to start off with, but putting that
They also tend to be badly paid, and the most honest of men can be
tempted by paying their mortgage off. And they may also have families,
and the most honest of men may be `tempted' by the threat of having
their children harmed. Lone workers with high-value goods are a health
and safety nightmare.
Well, we all know you have a very poor impression of almost every
profession. Is there anyone at all who meets your standards?
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
Whatever you think about the individuals involved, the process will be
discredited if it's not run smoothly enough. That gives those whose job
it is to invent the processes enough incentive, I think.
Why? Involvement in a government IT disaster doesn't appear to carry
any penalities for the political, civil service or industry parties
involved.
Those IT disasters don't impact the man in the street going about his
normal business. The closest it cam was perhaps the CSA, where lots of
(but not quite enough) ordinary people became drawn into the mess and
decided to protest.
--
Roland Perry
Ian G Batten
2004-09-10 10:12:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
Librarians tend to be honest people to start off with, but putting that
They also tend to be badly paid, and the most honest of men can be
tempted by paying their mortgage off. And they may also have families,
and the most honest of men may be `tempted' by the threat of having
their children harmed. Lone workers with high-value goods are a health
and safety nightmare.
Well, we all know you have a very poor impression of almost every
profession. Is there anyone at all who meets your standards?
That's not a low opinion, that's a fact of _all_ human beings.

I do an annual lecture at my former university, and one year I covered,
inter alia, the topic of risk assessment and of deploying resources
suitably. There's no point in spending millions on physical security
when staff will hand over documents for a few grand, so you need to
ensure that you have internal processes in place to minimise the spread
of valuable material. I said that although I've never been offered
money, I would be surprised if I weren't tempted to hand over, say, ASIC
designs, for a suitable sum of money.

I got phoned up a couple of days later by my former tutor, who had been
told be the head of school to tell me off for displaying such low
morals. Bob was suitably sheepish about the proceedings and I couldn't
be bothered to argue.

If you believe there's a profession which, to a man and woman, cannot be
convinced to do what a bad person wants by a combination of (a) money
and (b) their spouse screaming in agony as their legs are broken then I
have some bridges to sell you.
Post by Roland Perry
Those IT disasters don't impact the man in the street going about his
normal business. The closest it cam was perhaps the CSA, where lots of
(but not quite enough) ordinary people became drawn into the mess and
decided to protest.
And did anyone responsible for the CSA disaster get sanctioned? No.

ian
Roland Perry
2004-09-10 10:20:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian G Batten
And did anyone responsible for the CSA disaster get sanctioned?
I'm fairly sure the head of agency was given a dishonourable discharge.
Who knows what happened further down the pecking order.
--
Roland Perry
David Hansen
2004-09-10 11:07:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian G Batten
If you believe there's a profession which, to a man and woman, cannot be
convinced to do what a bad person wants by a combination of (a) money
and (b) their spouse screaming in agony as their legs are broken then I
have some bridges to sell you.
When I worked in the building industry a very wise quantity surveyor
and I had a long discussion about preventing fraud with one of our
internal auditors. The QS's view was simple and this is it almost word
for word. "Everyone has their price. My price is much higher than the
value of the contracts I award and sign off on my own."
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
David Hansen
2004-09-10 10:25:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Well, we all know you have a very poor impression of almost every
profession. Is there anyone at all who meets your standards?
As I went to college at one of the few places that does library studies
it might be worth setting the record straight. The people you see in
the public parts of libraries are mostly not professional librarians
(or whatever the name is this week), who are relatively well paid.
Rather they are generally the less well trained and less well paid
library assistants. Without wishing to detract from the library
assistants' many skills they are the equivalent of lowly clerks in
whatever the DHSS is called this week. Many of the former have left the
library service for better jobs elsewhere.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
Roland Perry
2004-09-10 10:35:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Hansen
Post by Roland Perry
Well, we all know you have a very poor impression of almost every
profession. Is there anyone at all who meets your standards?
As I went to college at one of the few places that does library studies
it might be worth setting the record straight. The people you see in
the public parts of libraries are mostly not professional librarians
(or whatever the name is this week), who are relatively well paid.
Rather they are generally the less well trained and less well paid
library assistants. Without wishing to detract from the library
assistants' many skills they are the equivalent of lowly clerks in
whatever the DHSS is called this week. Many of the former have left the
library service for better jobs elsewhere.
We seem to be converging on the view that there is no-one capable of
issuing anything. So we have driving examiners who give a "pass" to
avoid being beaten up and Post Offices routinely giving out tax disks to
people with no insurance because they've been slipped a tenner. What a
state we are in.
--
Roland Perry
Ian G Batten
2004-09-10 11:12:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
We seem to be converging on the view that there is no-one capable of
issuing anything. So we have driving examiners who give a "pass" to
avoid being beaten up
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/3404333.stm

Tends to make the point that driving examiners don't check photographs
terribly carefully.
Post by Roland Perry
and Post Offices routinely giving out tax disks to
people with no insurance because they've been slipped a tenner.
I don't know how often this happens. I know someone who once got an MoT
certificate by mail order.

ian

Owen Lewis
2004-09-10 09:52:21 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 09 September 2004 19:06
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
The more places you can have a card issued, the more people there are
who can be suborned into issuing fake ones, of course. In Blunkett's
``one card to bind them all'' world, acquisition of a false ID card is
probably more powerful than a false State of Georgia driver's license,
and now you're devolving the power to issue them to large numbers of
lightly trained, lightly motivated, lightly cleared people. How skilled
will they be as document examiners, for example? What threat can be
used to keep them honest, as the ID-card business will be but a tiny
part of their commerce?
This is a good point but one that I think can be fully covered, provided
there is a suitable implementation of a personal ID scheme. One way in which
successful fraudulent manufacture can be curtailed is by adding information
at the national data base of unique information to that of the biometric(s)
and other personal information. If (ob crypto) by the use of cryptographic
techniques, this additional information cannot be recovered from an ID card
other but its correct tie to the card can be confirmed only by checking the
card-borne information with the detail on the database. This might be done
by something like the secure hash that we discussed here a while back.

One of the problems with the UK scheme (at least on the information
presently available on it) is that no such security mechanism seems to be
incorporated. OTOH is should be possible to incorporate such a mechanism
without making public the detail of it.

Owen
Ian G Batten
2004-09-10 10:06:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owen Lewis
Post by Ian G Batten
The more places you can have a card issued, the more people there are
who can be suborned into issuing fake ones, of course. In Blunkett's
``one card to bind them all'' world, acquisition of a false ID card is
probably more powerful than a false State of Georgia driver's license,
and now you're devolving the power to issue them to large numbers of
lightly trained, lightly motivated, lightly cleared people. How skilled
will they be as document examiners, for example? What threat can be
used to keep them honest, as the ID-card business will be but a tiny
part of their commerce?
This is a good point but one that I think can be fully covered, provided
there is a suitable implementation of a personal ID scheme. One way in which
successful fraudulent manufacture can be curtailed is by adding information
at the national data base of unique information to that of the biometric(s)
and other personal information. If (ob crypto) by the use of cryptographic
I don't see how that would address some obvious attacks.

Let's assume that ID cards are to be issued to the people of the
Highlands by bolting the service onto the travelling library, or the
travelling cinema, or the post bus.

A van pulls up in a little village, and someone knocks on the door and
asks for an ID card. They present a passport, a birth certificate, a
photograph signed by a witness and a completed application form. What
skills does the librarian have to assess the validity of the documents?
In Ross' heirarchy of examiners, s/he's level 1: inexperienced,
ill-trained and actively motivated to pass the documents so s/he can get
on with the real job of issuing books to the queue of readers building
outside the van.

Result: an ID card in a false name, containing real biometrics. It
doesn't really matter if later the passport is shown to be fake, perhaps
from a scan taken at the time of issuing --- absent an online check, the
ID card holder has a valid ID card.

More insidiously, someone turns up with a _genuine_ passport which has
been crudely modified to contain a photograph of the applicant by
sticking a new photograph over the old one. If the librarian objects
they are either threatened --- lone worker, remember? --- or bribed.
The only way this one would be caught would be by comparing a scan of
the passport with a scan of the original issued document, and again, by
then it's too late.

How many librarians are going to be prepared to get beaten up in order
to protect the integrity of the ID card scheme?

ian
Roland Perry
2004-09-10 10:22:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian G Batten
How many librarians are going to be prepared to get beaten up in order
to protect the integrity of the ID card scheme?
Not very many, but you need to think this through. All the cards they've
issued that day will be logged on the central database. And after
they've issued one under duress it will be simplicity itself to "mark
that card", so that when it's first presented somewhere that the people
*do* make a career out of not being beaten up, it can be confiscated and
the culprit apprehended.
--
Roland Perry
David Hansen
2004-09-10 10:32:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owen Lewis
One way in
which successful fraudulent manufacture can be curtailed is by adding
information at the national data base of unique information to that of
the biometric(s) and other personal information. If (ob crypto) by the
use of cryptographic techniques, this additional information cannot be
recovered from an ID card other but its correct tie to the card can be
confirmed only by checking the card-borne information with the detail on
the database. This might be done by something like the secure hash that
we discussed here a while back.
I see a problem.

The people we are talking about are government officials and their smug
big business consultants. We know that their concept of security is
rather different to ours, a prime example being that these thick
people, a phrase I use deliberately, entertained the concept of
shuttling unencrypted medical records around for more than one second.
Had they any concept of privacy than such an idea would have been
instantly thrown out, but I doubt if those involved were even aware of
the issues.

Let me add that this is not the worst example I know of. I have come
across things more sensitive than medical records being sent by
unencrypted e-mail across open networks by people who were unaware of
the issues until I, a small business consultant, asked them some
questions in the course of giving them some advice on e-mail problems.
I am not even going to indicate the sector that this was in.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
David Hansen
2004-09-09 08:41:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
By analogy the UK-ID cards could be issued (say) anywhere there is a
municipal library, including the travelling ones.
Libraries are being closed down too, though not at the same rate as
post offices (at least at the moment).
Post by Roland Perry
no politician is going to make a martyr of the sort of case you
describe.
These cases usually arise because officials are only obeying orders. If
they make it into the mass media party politicians complain that their
orders have been misinterpreted.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
Roland Perry
2004-09-09 09:02:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Hansen
Post by Roland Perry
By analogy the UK-ID cards could be issued (say) anywhere there is a
municipal library, including the travelling ones.
Libraries are being closed down too, though not at the same rate as
post offices (at least at the moment).
Yes I know :-( The one in my old village in south Cambs was closed
recently. It was only open two days a a week, though. But such
discussions about closure, however regrettable, are only made after
genuine consultation with a relatively local council, even if that's
ignored (well what consumer would vote *for* closing a resource?) And
alternatives have to be explored. Such as a weekly visit by a mobile
library, which is what I think happened there.

Post office closures, on the other hand, seem much more commercially
drive by a faceless London-based crowd. Although most that I've seen
have been due to the family operating the sub-post office retiring and
no-one else wanting the job (which involves buying the premises and
business, I presume). That's quite a different model from libraries.
--
Roland Perry
David Hansen
2004-09-09 10:10:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Yes I know :-( The one in my old village in south Cambs was closed
recently. It was only open two days a a week, though.
Much the same with the one I am thinking of.
Post by Roland Perry
But such
discussions about closure, however regrettable, are only made after
genuine consultation with a relatively local council,
My "local" council is based in Glenrothes, not a place many locals want
to go to.
Post by Roland Perry
alternatives have to be explored. Such as a weekly visit by a mobile
library, which is what I think happened there.
That is what happened in the case I am thinking of, but it is not
really an alternative.
Post by Roland Perry
Post office closures, on the other hand, seem much more commercially
drive by a faceless London-based crowd.
One needs to distinguish between "main" post offices and "local" ones.
The former are certainly closed by a faceless London-based crowd, led
by the man who botched up professional football before continuing the
botching up of the post office.
Post by Roland Perry
Although most that I've seen
have been due to the family operating the sub-post office retiring and
no-one else wanting the job (which involves buying the premises and
business, I presume).
That tends to be the case with "local" offices.

What is interesting is that local outlets are being closed down in
favour of "call centres", firstly in the UK now in India and no doubt
soon China (which is undoubtedly where the Blunkettcard scheme will be
run from if the rogues are stupid enough to allow him to continue).
This relies on the fragile thing called telecommunications, yet those
in power have failed to think this through properly. RIP means that
these links cannot be protected properly. Even when proper protection
of such links is thought of the implementation is poor, as Ross has
demonstrated for a decade or so now. I doubt if all this is accidental,
it suits too many agendas.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
Roland Perry
2004-09-09 15:36:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Hansen
Post by Roland Perry
Post office closures, on the other hand, seem much more commercially
drive by a faceless London-based crowd.
One needs to distinguish between "main" post offices and "local" ones.
The former are certainly closed by a faceless London-based crowd, led
by the man who botched up professional football before continuing the
botching up of the post office.
It depends a little on the size of town, but many smaller towns have had
their "main" post offices closed, and replaced by a counter or two at
the back of a downmarket newsagent. I gather there are proposals to sell
of more of the remaining ones, such is the mismanagement at the Post
Office. Most organisations are desperate for prime High St Space, and
yet the PO doesn't know what to do with it.
Post by David Hansen
Post by Roland Perry
Although most that I've seen have been due to the family operating
the sub-post office retiring and no-one else wanting the job (which
involves buying the premises and business, I presume).
That tends to be the case with "local" offices.
What is interesting is that local outlets are being closed down in
favour of "call centres",
I don't think much that I used to do at a Post Office has been replaced
by a call centre, but banking and insurance have gone that way.
--
Roland Perry
Ian G Batten
2004-09-09 18:09:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Office. Most organisations are desperate for prime High St Space, and
Yeah, right. You mean ``if only they could outbid the charity shops,
they'd open more premises?'' I've not been on a High Street outside the
M25 that doesn't have a couple of charity shops for some years, and
unless I'm missing something a charity shop is an automatic indicator
that supply exceeds demand. Oxfam are a distress customer of land
lords.

ian
Roland Perry
2004-09-09 19:35:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
Office. Most organisations are desperate for prime High St Space, and
Yeah, right. You mean ``if only they could outbid the charity shops,
they'd open more premises?'' I've not been on a High Street outside the
M25 that doesn't have a couple of charity shops for some years, and
unless I'm missing something a charity shop is an automatic indicator
that supply exceeds demand. Oxfam are a distress customer of land
lords.
Charity shops in prime space? Things must be bad round your way. I do
see charity shops, but in secondary positions, which I agree do have an
oversupply in many areas.
--
Roland Perry
Brian Morrison
2004-09-09 21:26:57 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 9 Sep 2004 20:35:54 +0100 in
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
Office. Most organisations are desperate for prime High St Space,
and
Yeah, right. You mean ``if only they could outbid the charity shops,
they'd open more premises?'' I've not been on a High Street outside
the M25 that doesn't have a couple of charity shops for some years,
and unless I'm missing something a charity shop is an automatic
indicator that supply exceeds demand. Oxfam are a distress customer
of land lords.
Charity shops in prime space? Things must be bad round your way. I do
see charity shops, but in secondary positions, which I agree do have
an oversupply in many areas.
We're getting close to the charity shop event horizon round here, with
apologies to Douglas Adams....
--
Brian Morrison

bdm at fenrir dot org dot uk

GnuPG key ID DE32E5C5 - http://wwwkeys.uk.pgp.net/pgpnet/wwwkeys.html
Roland Perry
2004-09-10 08:28:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Morrison
Post by Roland Perry
Charity shops in prime space? Things must be bad round your way. I do
see charity shops, but in secondary positions, which I agree do have
an oversupply in many areas.
We're getting close to the charity shop event horizon round here, with
apologies to Douglas Adams....
My local "High St" (not big enough for a Crown PO, the sub-postoffice
has recently moved from a small charity-sized shop to be incorporated in
a brand new Co-Op supermarket which has about six checkouts to give you
some idea of scale) has five I think, from a total of about 40. So, yes,
quite noticeable. However they are all spread around. M&S have been
through a succession of planning appeals because they are keen to have a
shop. They are proposing knocking down a pub at the end of the High St
that's got a lot of land.

One retailer can't do a lot with five fragmented shopsites, but can make
good use of a single larger site (such as a Crown Post Office in a
larger town). Although I think few would be big enough for an M&S!
--
Roland Perry
Clive D. W. Feather
2004-09-10 05:57:18 UTC
Permalink
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Post by Roland Perry
Charity shops in prime space? Things must be bad round your way. I do
see charity shops, but in secondary positions, which I agree do have an
oversupply in many areas.
So to pick a location we both know, would great harm be done if the
Cambridge post office had to move from beside Robert Sayle to Bridge
Street, or to just outside the Grafton?

The post office in my bit of Finchley has just been closed down. There's
a charity shop 2 minutes walk away.

- --
Clive D.W. Feather | Home: <clive-fMmbJOuZRAcdnm+***@public.gmane.org>
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Roland Perry
2004-09-10 08:52:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Clive D. W. Feather
So to pick a location we both know, would great harm be done if the
Cambridge post office had to move from beside Robert Sayle to Bridge
Street, or to just outside the Grafton?
Remember that what I said was: "Most organisations are desperate for
prime High St Space, and yet the PO doesn't know what to do with it."

Then consider the £millions that are being poured into redeveloping
Robert Sayle and the surrounding shops in Cambridge, because the
proposed tenants (Robert Sayle included) do indeed seem to be desperate
for the extra retail space.

I'm sure (apart from the minor detail that the main telephone exchange
is behind the PO) everyone would be delighted if the site of the Crown
Post Office was included in the redevelopment. Or as it isn't, you have
the Crown Post office in a prime situation, a carbuncle next to a new
development, with the PO wringing its hands and using the 2K sqft merely
to see how long a queue it can create of people buying postage stamps.

Now, for your question: No I don't think much harm would be done by the
moves you suggest. But why do you ask?
--
Roland Perry
Ian G Batten
2004-09-10 09:01:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Then consider the £millions that are being poured into redeveloping
Robert Sayle and the surrounding shops in Cambridge, because the
proposed tenants (Robert Sayle included) do indeed seem to be desperate
for the extra retail space.
If Cambridge has a High St (as opposed to a mall) into which millions
are being poured, it's very unusual. I rather suspect that Scunthorpe,
Taunton and Bangor have different experiences.

ian
Roland Perry
2004-09-10 09:12:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
Then consider the £millions that are being poured into redeveloping
Robert Sayle and the surrounding shops in Cambridge, because the
proposed tenants (Robert Sayle included) do indeed seem to be desperate
for the extra retail space.
If Cambridge has a High St (as opposed to a mall) into which millions
are being poured, it's very unusual. I rather suspect that Scunthorpe,
Taunton and Bangor have different experiences.
Cambridge is laid out as a matrix, rather than a strip, and therefore
doesn't have a "High St" as such. The new development creates what you
might call a Mall, but the shopfronts on the longer side of it are on
the street most likely to be the High St, should one need to be
nominated. In particular it has the largest surviving Department Store
(John Lewis) and the Crown Post Office in it, and across the street is
the bus station, and behind it the central car park.

How many of Scunthorpe, Taunton and Bangor still have Crown Post Offices
(he asked in a desperate attempt to keep the subthread drifting off
topic again).
--
Roland Perry
Brian Beesley
2004-09-10 07:45:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian G Batten
Post by Roland Perry
Office. Most organisations are desperate for prime High St Space, and
Yeah, right. You mean ``if only they could outbid the charity shops,
they'd open more premises?'' I've not been on a High Street outside the
M25 that doesn't have a couple of charity shops for some years, and
unless I'm missing something a charity shop is an automatic indicator
that supply exceeds demand. Oxfam are a distress customer of land
lords.
Charity shops in prime space? Things must be bad round your way. I do
see charity shops, but in secondary positions, which I agree do have an
oversupply in many areas.
Same round here. The point being that high street shopping is more or less
dead. People prefer to go to out-of-town shopping centres, where there is
more choice, savings due to bulk buying power of large chains over small
independent shops, reasonable road access and adequate parking facilities.
Nobody uses public transport for shopping these days - too inconvenient, too
expensive. Even the "transport challenged" who can't or won't drive use taxis
to access shopping centres instead of bus to access high street shops.

As for post offices, well the two or three I use reasonably regularly always
seem to have queues, so I can't see that they're doing all that badly.
Whether they're making a profit or not I simply can't say, but I don't think
the Government helps small shopkeepers in general anything like enough, and
I'm pretty sure the Post Office is no exception.

The people I feel sorry for are those that don't have reasonable access to a
post office; unfortunately the number of people deprived of a local post
office with reasonable services seems to be increasing at an exponential rate.

Brian Beesley
Roland Perry
2004-09-10 08:56:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Beesley
The point being that high street shopping is more or less
dead. People prefer to go to out-of-town shopping centres, where there is
more choice, savings due to bulk buying power of large chains over small
independent shops, reasonable road access and adequate parking facilities.
Well, this is certainly not the place for a usenet-style debate about
High St versus out of town shopping and the various transport issues
raised. Suffice it to say that the very heart of Cambridge (and also
Nottingham) is being redeveloped for new High Street shops, so their
death has been a little exaggerated.
Post by Brian Beesley
As for post offices, well the two or three I use reasonably regularly always
seem to have queues, so I can't see that they're doing all that badly.
Rofl! The queues are because they are badly run. But also look at the
tiny average transaction values.
Post by Brian Beesley
Whether they're making a profit or not I simply can't say
It's been stated loudly and regularly that they making the most horrific
loss (that's why the PO wants to close them).
--
Roland Perry
Ian G Batten
2004-09-10 08:04:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Charity shops in prime space? Things must be bad round your way. I do
To take a case in point, Harborne in Birmingham, which is where the
south west Birmingham professional middle-classes have gone now that the
BVT is seen as too suburban and not exclusive enough (all those rented
houses, your see, bring in the wrong sort of people). The houses around
it are silly money, the High Street is impassable at times due to the
badly parked 4x4s of the high maintenance Harborne housewives who
constitute the local ladies who lunch, the local state secondary schools
are in free-fall because everyone (dahling!) sends their children to the
local private schools and the M&S food-only store does a roaring trade.

There's a charity shop in every block of the High Street. Because for
practical purposes no-one local shops in the local shops aside from the
M&S, because the demographics don't overlap.

ian
Roland Perry
2004-09-10 08:59:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian G Batten
There's a charity shop in every block of the High Street. Because for
practical purposes no-one local shops in the local shops aside from the
M&S, because the demographics don't overlap.
I think there is some slight confusion in the definition of High St. I
recognise the situation you describe, but my remarks (and most remaining
Crown Post Offices) pertain to County Towns and other large places. Not
collections of suburban shopping that did once have a critical mass.
--
Roland Perry
David Hansen
2004-09-09 17:30:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
I don't think much that I used to do at a Post Office has been replaced
by a call centre, but banking and insurance have gone that way.
That depends on what one did. Banking, bills and forms are things that
are moving or have moved in that direction. Even buying stamps and
envelopes can be done that way.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
Roland Perry
2004-09-09 19:28:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Hansen
Post by Roland Perry
I don't think much that I used to do at a Post Office has been replaced
by a call centre, but banking and insurance have gone that way.
That depends on what one did. Banking, bills and forms are things that
are moving or have moved in that direction. Even buying stamps and
envelopes can be done that way.
I suppose that I might do a TV licence via a call centre instead of a
Post Office, but that data is easier to get by asking the TV licensing
people than tapping a phone to India. I'm struggling to think of any
non-governmental thing that I used to do at a Post office at all, never
mind do now at a call centre. But if the Post Office are doing telesales
of stationery, that could be one - although I don't think I've every
bought any from a Post Office, Staples is rather cheaper!
--
Roland Perry
David Hansen
2004-09-09 10:37:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian Johnson
It's very rare I need either. I tend to only need my passport in
August, and I can't remember the last time I needed my driving licence.
What I forgot to add was that this would mop up perhaps 80% of the
population.
What this demonstrates is thet the Home Office are not the bungling
fools they and their advocates sometimes claim. Making "identity" cards
compulsory for those who want a passport or driving licence is an
extrememly sneaky trick and shows just how devious they are.

Had they instead said to plebs, "if you would like your passport or
driving licence to be endorsed as an "identity" card then please tick
this box and add £40 to your cheque" then that would be a different
matter.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
Roland Perry
2004-09-09 15:37:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Hansen
Had they instead said to plebs, "if you would like your passport or
driving licence to be endorsed as an "identity" card then please tick
this box and add £40 to your cheque" then that would be a different
matter.
The plebs can see these proposals on the Passport Agency website. It's
nice to have been part of the IT revolution that makes this possible -
previously they'd have had to get on their horse and go to Swansea (or
wherever) to examine such documents.
--
Roland Perry
David Hansen
2004-09-09 17:28:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
The plebs can see these proposals on the Passport Agency website. It's
nice to have been part of the IT revolution that makes this possible -
previously they'd have had to get on their horse and go to Swansea (or
wherever) to examine such documents.
That part of that revolution is indeed good. Other parts are not.
However, that revolution does not change the fact that it is intended
to make getting a Blunkettcard compulsory if someone wants a passport
or driving licence (or renews one). This reduction in choice doesn't
seem to concern Messers Blunkett and Liar, yet they constantly preach
choice.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
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