It’s coming…

12 Aug, '07

Bahraini smart identity card

Regardless of anyone’s apprehensions regarding the Smart Card, the PR machine in its regard has been accelerated of late to shove it down our throats with various PR pieces and laws as well as whole governmental divisions being enacted.

How is all of this going to affect us in Bahrain is anyone’s guess. My private guess is that it is going to be detrimental to our freedom – at best. Not because the card itself is a bad idea, not at all, things are moving in that direction the world over anyway. It’s failure in Bahrain is the almost complete absence of its supporters simply because of the people who have been assigned to oversee it, and the clandestine organisation that is pushing it.

No project can succeed if it lacks the basic necessity of trust. This one, for all the potential good that it can otherwise bring, is destined to doom. Bahrainis simply lack the necessary trust to make it successful. Oh they will go and get that card issued, to be sure, because as we have seen with the CPR card that preceded it, no earthly transaction could be completed in this country without it.

What’s left to do but tell those who care to simply “brace brace brace” as this thing will come crashing down, or at least will never reach its full potential.

Unless of course full transparency is adopted and those who have hijacked this project for nefarious deeds are removed.

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  1. Anon2 says:

    You know, I was lucky enough to renew by CPR right before they made these things mandatory. As a result, I have until 2011 to start worrying about about the lack of personal identification but I guess the passport is still valid and some businesses don’t mind it as a means of identification. Call me paraniod, but my personal privacy is important to me. I don’t like being treated as a potential criminal nor do I trust government officials to treat my data confidentially. I won’t be surprised if some data dump of CIO’s data ends in a garbage container in Isa Town. I mean we don’t even have privacy laws (ala Data Protection Laws) in Bahrian.

  2. doncox says:

    Identity cards, pass cards, whatever they are called are totally incompatible with freedom. Once everyone has a Pass Card, the police can stop you anywhere and demand to see it. They then know who you are and many other things that are none of their business. The citizen becomes the servant of the state instead of the other way around.

  3. bahsted says:

    The worst thing about this card is that it is absolutely useless. I have been pulled over and the traffic police refuse to accept, they claim they haven’t received a decree allowing people to drive with it. It doesnt have an address written on it, so most people have to memorize their house, road and block numbers!!! Most places need your address, so they still ask for the old card even though mine is expired! You cant travel with it like you can with the “shaksia”. Besides all these points, nobody in Bahrain seems to have a reader to read the info on these things. What a joke! I read that our smartcard got an award from some IT conference in India…if they only knew

  4. Ali M says:

    This country is going down the drain…have u seen todays paper???

    are they serious???

  5. um naief says:

    from what i gathered while working at the shura council, all the research and such that i did on this card was based on what the UK is using, so they’re pretty much copying what has been established there.

  6. anon2 says:

    This country is going down the drain…have u seen todays paper???

    First they introduce the unemployment tax to test the waters then they go head first to strip the already stripped out of his/her money. Smart tactic.

  7. Ammar says:

    This is a huge case in the US; people worried about privacy issues, personal data, information etc. Although it has the potential to be pretty useful, it also has a huge risk side to it, which the CIO and the government in general seem to be oblivious to. The card serves absolutely no use right now as bahsted mentioned. I’ve had to get recently because of a new job and just the headache to actually get it is a bummer, you would like to think you were doing all that for something that might be of use to you. The data is shaky, the privacy system is shaky, the usefulness is shaky. We’re trying to advance way faster than we are able to. Imagine a 5 year old trying to learn how to ride a bicycle by driving a Formula 1 car. Its a big recipie for disaster. Thats something along the same lines.

  8. Merlin says:

    it is already down the drain…making its way to the gutter….

  9. Merlin says:

    The UK never instituted an ID card whatsoever, due to resistance from parliament and individual freedom campaigners. I dont know which UK they were supposedly emulating but definitely not one on this planet…

  10. Merlin says:

    Ammar what genius! I completely agree. There are more fundamental issues that they should be focusing on. SmartCard? Whats the point of a smartcard which requires readers and computers and you guys can’t even have a continuous supply of electricity??

    I for one advocate for those of you who are able to secure better opportunities and lives elsewhere to migrate. It is time.It has been done by people of other troubled nations of this troubled middle east. Maybe, just maybe, it is our turn, time to leave, time to pursue a life that every Bahraini deserves, but is unfortunately not in Bahrain.

  11. um naief says:


    i have no idea what they’re following then… because i printed article after article on the smart card in the UK… discussions from parliament, pros and cons, etc. i don’t remember the dates though… so it was obviously not recent information.

  12. mahmood says:

    The UK approved the ID card with limited information on 31/3/2006, but activists continue to fight it.

    Read for more details.

    At least they have proper data protection and individual privacy laws and regulations. We don’t. And with the double-whammy background of Bandargate and Al-Ash’al’s Ba’athists we should be very worried at the so called smart card’s introduction.

  13. doncox says:

    I believe that behind this card scam there are companies that will make vast profits from manufacturing the things, and they have sold the idea to gullible politicians everywhere. The sales pitch is that if you force everyone to carry an identity card, terrorism will vanish overnight. What will actually happen is that card forgery will be a good source of income for organised crime and terror cults.

  14. Ted says:

    They will track your every move. It looks like 1984 is coming to Bahrain. Big Brother in action!

    Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
    as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 4083

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