The government wants all mobile phones to be registered. According to the Programme for Government, ageed last month:
The government will … require all mobile phones to be registered with name, address and proof of identity in order to stop drug-pushers using untraceable, unregistered phones.
But I got the following email from the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources in January this year:
The idea for a Register of mobile phones was extensively reviewed by officials in the Department. There were many complex legal, technical, data protection and practical issues to be considered. In theory, a Register of mobile phones might seem like a good idea. However, having looked at the situation in other administrations, considered the ease with which an unregistered foreign or stolen SIM card can be used and the difficulties that would be posed in verifying identity in the
absence of a national identification card system, and having consulted with the Office of the Attorney General and other interested parties, it was concluded that the proposal would be of limited benefit, in that it would not solve the illegal and inappropriate use of pre-paid mobile
phones and was not practical.
i done nothing wrong, so if the goverment want to know where i am, they can track my phone. look at england and how quick they picked up the bad guys.
ok i know the do gooders dont want this , but they never want change, they want us all walking the fields of the land and making work for the farmers, cleaning up after them.
you have noe done anything wrong , let all know where you are, you just might get lost and then???????????????????
James, I’m not sure exactly who you are referring to, but I’ll assume that you mean the perpetrators of the recent attacks in the UK.
Firstly, they caught two of them at Glasgow Airport after they rammed the doors at the arrivals terminal. Secondly, MI5 watch a number of people suspected of terrorism – the proposal mentioned above would amount to monitoring the (approximate) location of a large percentage of the population – from a civil liberties angle this would be worrying as it would amount to treating each mobile user as a potential suspect – you might dissmiss this as the concerns of a “do-gooder”. The practical aspect of monitoring such a large number of people is another problem – how many Gardai would it require?
Knowing someones’ approximate location may not be of much use in a large city, like Dublin, where I live. Looking at dublincrime.com, I see that there have been three murders within a couple of kilometres of where I live – the population of the area is large and looking at most mobile phone users would be a waste of time. (Unlike looking at the usage of a suspect.)
There have been concerns about corruption of Gardai in Donegal – all it would take is one corrupt Garda with access to the information to make life unpleasant for someone they dislike – it might be done by waiting until the “target” was in roughly the same area as a crime to rope them into an investigation.
Finally, if I want to get lost, that’s my business. Checking my backpack, I see I have a Dublin Street atlas there – I have a GPS receiver in my pocket (geocaching is a hobby of mine), but I carry those because I want to, not because I’m required to.