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On official information and local practice

A news item a few days ago - as an anti terrorist measure - all pre pay mobile phones have to be registered to an owner, those still unregistered in November will be cut off. When we bought our phones it was possible just to buy a phone without any paperwork.

I don't agree with this sort of Big Brother measure and it's a complete waste of time in any serious anti terrorist way but as my criminal and terrorist activities are strictly limited I didn't have much option but to do as I'm told.

The Official, Government PowerPoint display, lodged on all the mobile phone operator websites (Imagine that, what fathead decided that it was sensible to provide this sort of information in such a roundabout way?) said that it was possible to register a phone using a National Identity Card, a Passport or a Foreigners Identity Card.

I went to register my phone, I handed over the phone and my passport. The boss woman in the shop leaned over to the underling woman dealing with me and told her the phone couldn't be registered using a passport. I must have been in a bit of a mood because I rounded on her "and how do holidaymakers, or students here for a few months or any resident EU Citizen in Spain, who can get neither the National or Foreigner's Identity Card buy a phone then?"

They found the bit in the computer software that allowed them to enter my passport number. At that point I suggested they may like to use another document, one not mentioned on the PowerPoint display, the document I habitually use in Spain to link my UK identity with my Spanish one. It worked of course.


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