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ID card 'a boon for hackers' ! - 7/18/2005 6:03:29 AM   

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From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
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A NATIONAL identification card would make it easier for computer hackers to steal people's identities, civil libertarians said today.

Prime Minister John Howard has put the idea on the agenda in the wake of the London bombings, arguing circumstances have changed since he opposed Labor's plan for a similar card in the mid-1980s.

But Queensland Council of Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said the creation of a single identity database would be a target for hackers.

"It makes it easier by accumulating all the data in one place and if you're sufficiently technologically sophisticated you break in from a computer system and you can pinch anybody's ID," Mr Cope said on ABC radio.

"Whereas at the moment it's at least split up and to access the variant databases you have to break into a number of computer systems."

The onus was on the Federal Government to show the loss of civil liberties involved in the creation of such a card would prevent Immigration Department bungles or fight terrorism, Mr Cope said.

"So far as we're concerned they repeatedly failed to do so."

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie reignited debate on the cards last week, after a damning report into the mistaken detention of Australian resident Cornelia Rau and wrongful deportation of Australian citizen Vivian Alvarez.

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