Last January, the Department of Communications told me that it had done an extensive evaluation and decided that making people register their prepay mobile phones was a bad idea. Now the government (not so much the Department of Communications but Pat Carey, a junior minister with responsibility for drugs announced that this was ready to go ahead, in accordance with the program for government.
Now, the Department of Communications is going to investigate this again:
Minister Ryan will be discussing the question of mobile phone registration with Minister of State Carey in the coming weeks. Both Departments are conscious of the complex legal, technical and data-protection issues that surround this commitment in the Programme for Government.
The Department of Communications, in conjunction with the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs will be reviewing the situation, seeking advice from the Attorney General and working to resolve them insofar as practicable.
The Government is looking at all options that can assist in the fight against illicit drugs.”
In other words, the Department is going to evaluate this idea again and then decide once again not to do it. I don’t know why these people bother making decisions at all if they are going to instantly forget about why they made them.
I wonder why the government put this policy in the program for government. It was just looking for trouble.