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Propiska – a foreign notion
29 March 2007


Business Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL) suggests that we in the UK add the word propiska to our vocabulary.


You might think, judging by the UK media, that the ID card is a theoretical object, of which the world has no experience yet.

No. Propiski have been around since the nineteenth century.

They have been missed by most of the UK media. The BBC website has 4 references, the Economist manages 2, the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Independent and the FT, Channel 4 and ITN all have 0. Google gets about 156,000 hits. Quite a lot, considering that "propiska" is a transliteration Ц "прописка" gets 1.5m hits ("id card" gets 1.78m).

Luckily, they have now been spotted by BCSL.

Luckily, because they have a lot to teach us, about what to expect from ID cards.


There's more at


About Business Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL):
BCSL has operated as an IT consultancy since 1984. The past four years have been spent investigating mobile phone-based identity management.

Press contacts: David Moss,