Government Secretly Sign Contract With Tech Firm Who Suggested COVID Passports As National ID Cards


Nothing to see here, move along.


The UK government has signed off on a deal for COVID passports with a tech firm that previously suggested the technology could be easily redeployed as a national ID system, promoting accusations of a further stealth crackdown on freedoms.


An iNews report notes that IT company Entrust (that's not disturbingly Orwellian at all, is it?) has been awarded the £250,000 contract to provide cloud computing software for the so called ‘Covid-status certification’ scheme. The company has previously worked on developing national ID systems in Albania, Ghana, and Malaysia, and in a February blog post, the company’s Product Marketing Director, Jenn Markey, bragged that “Vaccine credentials can become part of the infrastructure of the new normal.”


The post also proclaimed “With the infrastructure and investment necessary to ensure a viable vaccine passport, why not redeploy this effort into a national citizen ID program that can be used for multiple purposes including the secure delivery of government services, secure cross-border travel, and documentation of vaccination.”


Whilst Entrust’s Senior Product Manager, John Beijjani, previously spoke about how vaccine passports could be used by governments in the post-COVID world “to collect valuable data” from citizens going on to say: “You’ll understand why it’s not just for travel, you can take it and repurpose it to do such things as national IDs and permits.”


“Deploying something like a mobile travel credential also enables governments to collect valuable data,” he continued, adding “It can provide governments a quick and standard mechanism for securing their citizens. It also doesn’t hurt that this information can be used to identify criminals and other bad actors as they move around the same system trying to hide anonymously in the crowds.”


There are some reports suggesting that Entrust is linked to the Tony Blair Institute who have been pushing ID cards in one form or another for 15 years, however, as yet these reports have not been confirmed.


The fact that the government has chosen this firm to develop COVID passports when it has expressed such brazen advocacy of a surveillance state has enraged liberty advocates. Jake Hurfurt of Big Brother Watch asserted that “Covid certificates would introduce ID cards in the UK by the backdoor”, further emphasising “The fact that the government has done a deal with Entrust, a company which is openly plotting a route from vaccine passports to digital identity cards, only underlines what a serious threat Covid passes would be to our civil liberties and our privacy.”


Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, former director of civil liberties group Liberty, said “This isn’t a mere question of competence but far more sinister. This is studied chaos. We need to be explicitly reassured that the Government has not already decided in favour of some kind of national ID system.”


David Davis,a member of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) of Conservative Members of Parl