Australia considers ID cards in wake of London attacks

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official website] told a news conference [transcript] Friday in the wake of the London bombings that Australia should reconsider introducing a national identity card, an idea the country debated but shelved back in 1987. Howard, who opposed the 1987 plan for an Australia Card [academic paper], said circumstances had changed and the proposal should be back on the table. Last month British lawmakers narrowly backed a national ID card plan [JURIST report] in a first step towards the use of biometric technology in fingerprint, face, and iris recognition, a plan not seen in Britain since just after World War II. Though there has never been a major peacetime terror attack on the Australian homeland, its Jakarta embassy was bombed in 2004 [BBC report], 88 Australians were killed in the 2002 Bali bombings [Wikipedia backgrounder], and one Australian Friday died of wounds [SBS report] suffered in the London bombings last week. Reuters has more.

 

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