A Political Flap Over I.D. Cards In Britain

Having just won an historic third term, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is wasting no time following up on campaign pledges. On May 25, Labour introduced a controversial bill that would require British residents to register for national identity cards for the first time since World War II. Registrants would have to provide the government a range of information including name, nationality, and distinguishing physical characteristics. Backers say the plan, which would be phased in from 2008, will fight terrorism, illegal immigration, and misuse of the National Health Service. But human rights groups fear a national register will threaten individual privacy. The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties said they will oppose the bill.

Edited by Rose Brady

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