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Passports will be needed to buy mobile phones - Times Online

Everyone who buys a mobile telephone will be forced to register their identity on a national database under government plans to extend massively the powers of state surveillance.

Phone buyers would have to present a passport or other official form of identification at the point of purchase. Privacy campaigners fear it marks the latest government move to create a surveillance society.

A compulsory national register for the owners of all 72m mobile phones in Britain would be part of a much bigger database to combat terrorism and crime.

Back to the happy days when all typewriters had official IDs and reference printouts stored for identification purposes. Maybe it is time to stock up on some sim cards....


Sim cards won't help. They'll track the unique phone ID, IMEI. There is software out there that will let you reprogram the IMEI. Get it while you can...

So that's the end of the vending machines in airports that let you buy a phone for the duration of your stay? Fortunately last time I was in the UK I borrowed a spare off my parents, but if I hadn't been able to do that I'd have had to activate the roaming on my phone, which costs insane amounts of money to make a call.

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