Skip to comments.Under Real ID, privacy will be nonexistent
Posted on 01/22/2008 12:28:56 PM PST by BGHater
Welcome to Amerika. With its recent issuance of rules for implementing the Real ID law - the requirement that states issue drivers licenses according to federal dictates and link the information to a nationwide database - the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken another page from the Soviets playbook. Stalin required Russian citizens to carry an internal passport ostensibly because counterrevolutionaries posed a threat. Amerikans will be required to show their papers to prove they arent terrorists or illegal immigrants.
Because an internal passport is the hallmark of totalitarianism, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff is trying to play Americans for fools. He insists that Real ID, which must meet federal standards and be used for federal purposes, is not a federal identity card because the states will be the issuing agents. Thats like your employer trying to convince you he has no control over your salary because the checks come through the payroll department.
Seventeen states have passed legislation or resolutions opposing Real ID, and 19 other states have such actions pending because they recognize what Congress did not: If this law is actually implemented, it will mean the end of privacy and freedom.
That is inevitable because the amount of information required to be imbedded on the card will increase, as will the places where its presentation is required. Congress originally suggested that the card would be necessary to enter federal buildings, board commercial aircraft, open a bank account, or access nuclear power plants - but allowed expansions for any other purposes that the [DHS[ Secretary shall determine. Secretary Michael Chertoff already has added entry to national parks to the list.
And dont forget that Congress foolishly gave the Secret Service authority to control national events such as Super Bowls and presidential inaugurations. Merely to watch a football game, Amerikans will have to show their papers.
Privacy will be non-existent because the DHS dictates that identity cards must have bar codes readable by common technology. So not only will tens of thousands of government employees have access to your Social Security number, date of birth, residential address, etc., but every private facility that requires you to present ID will capture that information as well. Identify theft will be childs play.
Perhaps the most alarming aspect of Real ID is that it transfers to the government ultimate control over citizens movements. The ID card of a citizen not in good standing could have a hold put on it, just like a credit card can. If your ID card is declined, you will be unable to travel, access your money, get a job, enter buildings, or go about the basic routines of life until you have restored favor with your government.
Think thats hyperbole? Drivers licenses already are used for such purposes. In Texas, a driver's license can be suspended for failure to provide requested medical information to the government. In Florida, a license can be revoked for "an immoral act in which a motor vehicle was used." Wisconsin residents can lose their driver's licenses for failure to pay library fines, shovel the snow off their sidewalk, or trim a tree overhanging a neighbor's property. Montana residents are not allowed to drive if they default on college loans. Many states punish those who fail to pay child support, taxes, court judgments, or parking fines by revoking their driver's licenses.
Effectively "grounding" adults is cheaper than sending them to jail, and a national ID card linked to a central database would allow the government to be all that more efficient. Want to board a plane in North Carolina? Not until you pay those library fines in Wisconsin.
The real travesty is that it is all for nothing because it wont make anyone safer. Establishing someones identity does not reveal their intent. In a pathetically vapid defense of Real ID, Chertoff asks, Should banks cash checks from people who cannot prove who they are? Should parents hire baby-sitters they know nothing about? Should airlines let passengers on board without validating their identity?
Well, knowing that the babysitter is, in fact, Suzy Smith, says nothing about her skill with children. A bank needs to know whether a check is good, not the bearers immigration status. Knowing a travelers Social Security number doesnt tell an airport screener whether the individual is carrying a bomb.
National identity cards dont make anyone safer; they only make citizens less free. Real ID is a real bad law that Congress ought to repeal. Real soon.
Examiner Columnist Melanie Scarborough lives in Alexandria.
Identity theft is already child’s play, and she neglects to address how this will affect our twenty million uninvited guests.
I hate articles that use “Amerika” “Amerikkka” etc. It’s childish. It’s usually leftists who do this, but sometimes far right nutters too.
People who oppose Real I.D. tend to have a not-very-secret open borders agenda. Wihtout some verifyable form of ID attempts to stop illegal invasion will falter. I heard Chertoff on the radio being interviewed. Today the border patrol has something like 1,000 types of ID that people can use to gain entry to the USA. (They are cutting that way down shortly.)
“If this law is actually implemented, it will mean the end of privacy and freedom. “
I find it hard to take her seriously when she makes statements like this.
We already have a National ID card. It’s called the social security card. It consists of a piece of paper, a number and a name. As far as I can tell it is the most easily forged combination of elements you can get to still be considered an ID.
Just wait until you have to have your ID scanned before starting your car.
This’ll be no more an intrusion on freedom than a driver’s license is. You’ve got to show it everytime you’re pulled over, and to cash checks or use credit cards. The Texas Gov’t didn’t use my driver’s license to “end freedom”.
Real-ID isn’t a good thing, especially in the hands of the DNC.
Anyone who fails to see what the Dems are going to do with it once they have control, is a fool.
Do Stalin’s purges ring a bell here?
And the only places that are legally allowed to use your SSN are your employer and your bank. And we see hoe THAT is abused.
Sure. Of course this whole argument is academic. It won’t be long before they do away with ID cards and just go to an implantable RFID chip that you will have to have and they will require all babies chipped at birth. It’s for terrorism and illegal aliens, you won’t mind the intrusion.
Its not the ID itself that is most troubling, but its the incremental chipping away of our liberty. Every law the government passes makes us less and less free. We have to lick the boots of high school dropout TSA employees to get on a flight. We work for half of the year to pay the IRS. Our internet use is monitored. Our liberty is eroded in hundreds of small ways every day that adds up to us being slaves of our Government.
>> Sure. Of course this whole argument is academic. It wont be long before they do away with ID cards and just go to an implantable RFID chip that you will have to have and they will require all babies chipped at birth. Its for terrorism and illegal aliens, you wont mind the intrusion.
That was a big leap.
We ALREADY have DL cards.
This law is stating the minimum standards for those cards.
Don’t want a DL? State ID? don’t get one.
This just means all states have to have the same standard. No more weak link states.
Perhaps not so large a leap.
10 years? Maybe 25? Certainly less that 50.
You don’t need to implant anythign.
Biometric data will know who you are.
Smile a satelite just photographed you...
Provided we lock up the terrorists and deport the illegals, I won't mind occasionally showing an authority figure my drivers' liscence.
Provided we lock up the terrorists and deport the illegals, I won't mind occasionally showing an authority figure my drivers' liscence.
>> Perhaps not so large a leap. 10 years? Maybe 25? Certainly less that 50.
This is classic straw-man garbage — take a reasonable measure to absurd proportions, and argue against the absurdity.
The leap was assuming I would be OK with forced implantation of a device simply because I have no problem with an ID requirement. One is a reasonable security measure, with little downside and little to no intrusion on the rights of the individual — the other is not.
>> There’s nothing more that the government would like to do than track your every movement, and then tax it.
OK. So? I have a state ID in my wallet right now (and I’ve had one for well over a decade) ... and nobody in my state is tracking me.
ID requirements are neither unreasonable nor particularly intrusive.
I’m sure that the collection of DNA from criminals in the UK was a “reasonable” measure, but then they expanded it from convicted criminals, to anybody who has ever been arrested, even if everything is dropped or you were erroneously arrested, too bad, they’ve got your DNA now and will NOT erase it. Do you really think these people will stop at an ID card??? I have a bridge for sale if your answer is yes.
Think thats hyperbole? Drivers licenses already are used for such purposes.
This part is just silly and is indeed hyperbole. Your right to drive is revoked, not your identification. In every state I'm aware of, if they take your driver's license you can get a state ID card that is equally valid as ID for something like $10.
Not that I've had my DL taken away in all that many states. :)
What is the ethical difference between fingerprints and a DNA sample?
Another nonsense article.
>> Do you really think these people will stop at an ID card??? I have a bridge for sale if your answer is yes.
No need to condescend, slick.
>> Im sure that the collection of DNA from criminals in the UK was a reasonable measure, but then they expanded it from convicted criminals, to anybody who has ever been arrested, even if everything is dropped or you were erroneously arrested, too bad, theyve got your DNA now and will NOT erase it.
I will not seek to scuttle reasonable, and fully Constitutional, security measures because of a hypothetical, entirely fabricated, unreasonable measure that hasn’t even been suggested.
Lets take the good ones, and torpedo the bad ones — torpedoing all security measures, reasonable or otherwise, because of a hypothetical is simply ridicuous.
When I was a kid, you’d often hear something like:
“May I sit here?”
“Sure, it’s a free country.”
I haven’t heard anyone say “it’s a free country” in a LONG time.
Why do you suppose that is?
>> When I was a kid, youd often hear something like: May I sit here? Sure, its a free country.
>> I havent heard anyone say its a free country in a LONG time. Why do you suppose that is?
For the same reason people don’t say “Radical!” or “Bodacious” very much. Because that was a cute catch-phrase several decades ago.
Absurd anecdotes don’t particularly help your case. I wouldn’t extrapolate your experience with people not saying “its a free country” as evidence that the nation is less free ... its merely evidence that common vernacular has changed.
You can sit anywhere you want.
Such concerns are amplified by fears that, in time, authorities will try to obtain information from stored DNA beyond the unique personal identifiers.
"Genetic material is a very powerful identifier, but it also happens to carry a heck of a lot of information about you," said Jim Harper, director of information policy at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington concerned about DNA database trends.
Law enforcement officials say they have no interest in reading people's genetic secrets. The U.S. profiling system focuses on just 13 small regions of the DNA molecule -- regions that do not code for any known biological or behavioral traits but vary enough to give everyone who is not an identical twin a unique 52-digit number.
"It's like a Social Security number, but not assigned by the government," said Michael Smith, a University of Wisconsin law professor who favors a national database of every American's genetic ID with certain restrictions.
Still, the blood, semen or cheek-swab specimen that yields that DNA, and which authorities almost always save, contains additional genetic information that is sensitive, including disease susceptibilities that could affect employment and health insurance prospects and, in some cases, surprises about who a child's father is.
"We don't know all the potential uses of DNA, but once the state has your sample and there are not limits on how it can be used, then the potential civil liberty violations are as vast as the uses themselves," said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.
She and others want samples destroyed once the identifying profile has been extracted, but the FBI favors preserving them.
Our only difference would be what that "ID" consists of. Biometric data, and RFID chips are troubling to me.
The author omitted that Real ID will most likely be required for employment. Title 3 of the last immigration bill, which failed to pass, links Real ID with E Verify such that, if the bill had passed, Real ID would have been required for employment beginning in 2013.
And it is not just Real ID that is in play, it is the merging of federal databases. E-Verify has problems that can be solved only by merging the SS and DHS databases, which will ultimately lead to a single database. Real ID linked to E-Verify and E-Verify linked to the merged database.
Obviously there are problems and certain states as well as a growing number of Senators are opposing. This is why Chertoff made his recent pronouncements on changes. Those born before 1964 will not have to have Real ID. Bar Codes and not RFID, tho I'm certain that RFID will eventually be used.
Simply not true. Regular driver's licenses are perfectly verifiable. All that needs to be done is to require a certified photocopy of a birth certificate in order to obtain one. Repeat as necessary.
There is ZERO need to have an ID that is linkable to a centralized database. "REAL ID" is "your papers please" Nazi Germany all over again, only on steroids.
Your regular driver's license isn't linked by computer to a central database in DC. THAT is the danger. The card itself is a non-problem. The author may over-dramatize somewhat, but she's right.
That's because it's a STATE ID, and not linked to a central computer and database in Washington, DC. And it is precisely that abiltity to "track you" that they are adding, and which is the real danger.
There were several threads on Chertoff’s anouncement a week ago Friday, and many articles in the media.
More and more, I think you are right. Such measures in the hands of Bush are one thing, but in the hands of a Hillary Clinton, something quite different. Maybe our government would do well to abandon such intrusions on law abiding people and spend some time and effort rounding up and deporting those non citizens who are likely to pose a threat to our security.
>> Your regular driver’s license isn’t linked by computer to a central database in DC.
Its currently linked to a more local or statewide database. What do you think the cop is calling up when he types the DL# into that little computer?
I see no difference. I’m not upset if Texas does it ... so why be upset if its integrated federally?
That is a pretty big "provision." That is the whole point.
Can I take my own money across the border? Sort of, when I was a kid, one could sell his own house and take all the money to Mexico, and retire.
A few years back, when we all became suspected drug runners, congress decided I could only take $10,000 out of the country without jumping through major hoops.
Last I heard it's down to $5,000.
Now, if I sell my house in California, and take that cash with me on a drive to set up my new life in, say, Georgia, and any podunk cop pulls me over for "Driving with out-of-state plates" his little Podunk PD can confiscate all that money and the car because simply having that much cash is prima facie evidence that it's drug money.
Of course, I can fight them in court, and with luck in 5 or 10 years I'll get my car and money back, less legal costs, and without interest.
Yeah, I'm a whole lot freer than my parents were.
That’s why you should have it converted to a bank certified check in your name.
I agree about the cash-movement complaint you have — not that it has anything to do with what we’re talking about.
>> Yeah, I’m a whole lot freer than my parents were.
I didn’t say you were freer. I said the particular change of vernacular that you anecdotally cited (”Hey — nobody says, ‘its a free country’ when I ask if I can sit down!”) wasn’t useful evidence that you’re less free.
I have thought a lot about this because there is some valid reason for concern about abuse of a national id card. Still, I cannot get too worked up about the Real ID thing. Real ID seems like a pretty rational balance between the threat of terrorism and the threat of government control of individuals.
LOL, almost true!
Each state has a DB and any LEO can access those DB's through a centralize computer system.
Really no difference!
It's still a $10,000 and there are no major hoops, just 1 simple form.
Oh? Does that magically make it not drug money?