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In our Taking Liberties blog, not only will we keep you uptodate on the progress of the film, we'll also post news about the ongoing civil liberties movements we're related to.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Workin on a chain gang...

The much trumpeted New Labour scheme of tagging prisoners and releasing them early is now in serious trouble. And guess what, at the heart of the problem is a big shiny computer that they were sold by the massive IT Firm EDS (see blogs passim), that has now gone more than 400% over budget and still doesn't work. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is - according to the Probation officers Union "close to collapse".

The news that a government IT system has gone vastly over budget, been hugley delayed, and failed to work in the slightest should not be news to anyone, and would be slightly less sensational than the news of a pensioner in Rome banging on about contraception. What is utterly staggering about this particular IT arse up, is that EDS is fining the government for pulling the plug! EDS (they of multiple similar IT foul ups, particularly at the MOD), will be paid a £50 million "penalty" as the government is going to have to back out. This is rather like asking someone to build you a house that quadruples in cost, takes 10 years to finish, and collapses on you as soon as you move in. And then when you try to move they send you a cancellation fee. Good job EDS isn't an integral part of the National Identity Register... Oh shit, they are.

Don't sweat it at the airport...

The boffins in the basement at The Pentagon have been working overtime, and have now come up with a truly dazzling gizmo that is going to save the world from terror, but also cost the earth. This is something called Project Hostile Intent (I'm not making this up) that is a device that scours crowds and examines minute facial involuntary expressions, which it then analyses to assess whether or not you are about to blow yourself up. The plan is that these things get installed at airports, where they will tirelessly examine the minute changes in your facial expression as you are about to about to board a plane, to work out if you are a potential threat. It would be interesting to see this tested at Heathrow right now, and see what it makes of several thousand people crying, screaming and yelling "FOR THE LAST TIME, WHERE IS MY F*CKING LUGGAGE?!!" Presumably a hundred thousand people all twitching uncontrollably through severe nervous exhaustion at the prospect of a 10 hour wait for the security checks, will send a message back to Washington to wipe Heathrow off the face of the map...

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