Enters Proximus to get a pre-paid data SIM.

- Do you have Belgian ID?

- Me: huh? Oh, no, I have EU ID.

- Oh, then it will take four days to activate… we work with the government to check your documents, etc.

Tell me again about this Single Market of yours… I swear with the military on the streets, police sniffer dogs everywhere and shit like this, Belgium is one far-right government away from fascism with great chocolate and shopping.


Walked into Orange and got one without any hassle.


· · Web · 2 · 1 · 5

* By “no hassle” I mean no warnings about it taking X days to activate but they did scan my passport so it’s linked to me. Looks like you can’t anonymously access the Interwebs anymore. I remember many years ago having a similar experience in Turkey where prepaid cards would stop working after X days so it seems we’ve caught up with and surpassed Erdoğan.

I think it's down to national law. You didn't need to show ID for prepaid SIMs in Germany a few years ago (not sure about nowadays), and in Britain, I got one based only on my mail address and a valid e-mail address -- not sure what checks they ran in the background, though. UK does a lot of creepy stuff to compensate for not having national ID

@aral In addition to the data-privacy aspect this is a practical problem for us seafarers too, who often need a temporary SIM for a few weeks or months at a time and don't usually have an entry visa for the country we're in (so passport validation can be a problem.) Only really seen it in the Middle East before, though; pretty worried to hear its reached Europe now..

@aral isn't that the law now, no SIM card without ID? I think I read something along those lines a couple of years ago. Can't remember if I needed ID in England (2012), definitely needed ID in Germany (2013) and Sweden (2014)

@aral This was rushed into law following the 2016 terror attacks in Brussels, with complete disregard for any opposing voices obviously.

@aral You'll love to hear about the law the previous government (headed by the 'center'-right party, of course) passed to add biometric data (fingerprints) to all ID cards. It's completely ridiculous and probably unconstitutional.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Aral’s Mastodon

This is my personal Mastodon.