The question of a compulsory register of everyone buying (and possibly holding) a mobile phone has been raised again during these quiet summer days by Pat Carey TD, Junior Minister in the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs.
I’ll leave it to the Digital Rights Ireland post on this topic, and to Daragh O’Brien’s contribution from the field of information management, to outline the reasons why this is an idea which ought to be dumped, rather than regularly recycled.
Antoin O’Lachtnain, who is one of Digital Rights Ireland’s directors, had this little nugget from the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (who would actually have to mandate such a register) responding to Mr. Carey’s intellectual eruption.
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.???
Antoin suggests this is a statement saying that what was announced as a firm intention is now going to be merely examined.
Nonetheless, I’ve had Mr. Carey quoted to me today saying that he (or the Government, it isn’t clear which) intends to press ahead with this administrative gibberish on the basis that it might help, and can’t do any harm.
On the contrary, it cannot achieve the aims which are claimed for it, and it will certainly do harm.