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A Chicken in Every Pot, and A Webpage for Every Citizen

Yes, we know Hoover wasn’t British.

On Monday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will announce a four year initiative to go paperless.  That is, to make every possible interaction between British citizens and their government into something you can do online.

From the Times:

The aim is that within a year, everybody in the country should have a personalised website through which they would be able to find out about local services and do business with the Government. A unique identifier will allow citizens to apply for a place for their child at school, book a doctor’s appointment, claim benefits, get a new passport, pay council tax or register a car from their computer at home.

The savings on paper, postage, and physical government offices are expected to be in the billions.

There are considerable concerns; high among them are “upfront costs, data protection, identity theft,” and the number of elderly or undereducated or under-connected citizens who would find accessing such a service difficult.  The Prime Minister has been receiving advice from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the internet, and Martha Lane Fox, a dot-com entrepreneur.

The full article can be found at the Times Online.

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