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Everyone departing the UK to have their journey recorded for 10 years

Posted by James Hammerton @ 12:48 pm on 15 March, 2009.
Categories privacy and surveillance, British politics, the database state.
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Update: UK Liberty puts the cost of this scheme at £413,793 per arrest, and estimates a cost of over £2million per conviction, by applying the conviction rates for arrests under the Terrorism Act.

The Telegraph reports:

Anyone departing the UK by land, sea or air will have their trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade.

Passengers leaving every international sea port, station or airport will have to supply detailed personal information as well as their travel plans. So-called “booze crusiers” who cross the Channel for a couple of hours to stock up on wine, beer and cigarettes will be subject to the rules.

In addition, weekend sailors and sea fishermen will be caught by the system if they plan to travel to another country - or face the possibility of criminal prosecution.

The owners of light aircraft will also be brought under the system, known as e-borders, which will eventually track 250 million journeys annually.

Even swimmers attempting to cross the Channel and their support teams will be subject to the rules which will require the provision of travellers’ personal information such as passport and credit card details, home and email addresses and exact travel plans.

Later on:

A UK Border Agency spokesman defended the e-borders scheme. “It allows us to secure the UK’s Borders by screening people as they travel in and out of the UK.

“The e-Borders scheme has already screened over 82m passengers travelling to Britain, leading to more than 2,900 arrests, for crimes including murder, drug dealing and sex offences. e-borders helps the police catch criminals attempt to escape justice.”

So they think an arrest rate of 1 in 28,276 (after rounding) justifies subjecting everyone to such surveillance. In what way is this even a remotely efficient means of catching criminals?

Ben Goldacre has written a pertinent article about the maths of such surveillance.

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