Saturday, March 14, 2009

E-borders: Using a sledgehammer to crack a nut

According to the Telegraph this morning the Government is planning yet another database to track not only all our international travel, but the reasons for travel and our credit card details too. Putting aside the fact that the Government can't be trusted with our data, this is being done in the name of fighting crime. According to the UK Borders Agency,
"The e-Borders scheme has already screened over 82m passengers travelling to Britain, leading to more than 2,900 arrests, for crimes including murder, drug dealing and sex offences. e-borders helps the police catch criminals attempt to escape justice."
That represents a whopping 0.003% of the tracked journeys leading to an arrest. The economy of scale between the cost and implmentation of such a system compared to its results is going to be, frankly, idiotic. No doubt it will be paid for by even more profligate borrowing and economic maladministration.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

All of this is because they cannot bring themselves to face up to the fact that we have cultural, social, economic and security problems in relation to quite small "ethnic" groups in our population. A database to track the movements of Pakistanis would be useful.

The Penguin said...

Burglars are very chuffed, as my post at Old Holborn explains.

The Penguin

James D said...

Of course the real problem is that we gave these Home Office neo-Nazis power when we failed to join Schengen. Of course, this gives a simple two-stage solution:
1) join Schengen
2) abolish the Home Office

Obnoxio The Clown said...

At least the hit-rate is better than the stop and search hit-rate under section 44.

Old Codger said...

It seems the terrorists have won.

nought.point.zero said...

As long as we keep on arresting Everton strikes every time they look in shop windows, we should be all right. Er....

Incidently, what do we reckon the cost of Eborders was? I assume we're talking something like £100m

Anonymous said...

Sorry - what is the issue you're really complaining about?

Is 2900 arrests wrong - its only been running a relatively short time. (I can't find the time period those figures cover, but 82m is roughly the number of journeys through Heathrow each year, just to put it in context). If all the arrests were concentrated on Heathrow that would be around 8 per day - or 1.5 per terminal per day. Is that so wrong - for a system still getting going?

You make no mention of the deterrent effect.

And what about issues not resulting in arrest?

I seem to remember the last Tory government was moving us down this direction too in response to criticism of the lack of border controls. Lets have a comment on real issues, not faux indignation like this.

Anonymous said...

Exit Visas here we come!

Anonymous said...

So, the government want a database of credit card details and email addresses, do they? I wonder why. I also wonder if it will be subject to the same stringent data security that the child benefit database was subject to (i.e. pretty much none at all).

For this reason, if they want an email address they can have a fake one, and if they want credit card details then once again they can have expired or purposefully cancelled ones. It isn't as if they can check either detail, and it isn't as if their security based on past performance is good enough to trust, either.