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One step closer to National ID system

By deepsand ·
Senate Passes Bill Creating Electronic ID Card

President Bush expected to sign Real ID Act.

Linda Rosencrance, Computerworld
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would create an electronic ID card designed to stop illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses. The U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year passed its version of the bill, which was tacked onto a measure to pay for military activities in Iraq.


The legislation, which President George W. Bush is expected to sign, requires states to issue federally approved electronic ID cards, including driver's licenses. Anyone without such a card would not be permitted to board an airplane or Amtrak train, to open a bank account, or to enter a federal building.

Called the Real ID Act, the bill mandates that driver's licenses and other ID cards include a digital photo, various features designed to thwart counterfeiting, and a "common machine-readable technology" such as a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. The technology must meet requirements set out by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The provisions take effect in May 2008.

"The Real ID is vital to preventing foreign terrorists from hiding in plain sight while conducting their operations and planning attacks," House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) said in a statement. "By targeting terrorist travel, the Real ID will assist in our War on Terror efforts to disrupt terrorist operations and help secure our borders."

Opponents' Stance
But critics, including the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the bill will bring the United States a giant step closer to creating a national ID system, which would be a tempting target for identity thieves.

"The Real ID Act would establish a vast national database of ID holders, where even a small percentage of errors would cause major social disruption," according to a statement by the EFF. "The ID would essentially be an internal passport that would be shown before accessing planes, trains, national parks, and courthouses--an irresistible target for forgers and identity thieves."

The EFF also said that by calling for the use of "common machine-readable technology," the REAL ID Act will pave the way for the federal government to force every state to put RFID chips into the ID cards.

Plans to issue electronic passports for U.S. citizens traveling abroad have raised concerns of their own.

"The federalization of driver's licenses and the culling of all information into massive databases creates a system ripe for identity theft," said Timothy Sparapani, an ACLU legislative counsel, in a statement. "New standards could place our most private information--including photographs, address[es], and Social Security numbers--into the hands of identity thieves."

The ACLU also said that the measure, if signed into law, would make it harder for legal immigrants to obtain a driver's license. And it denounced the way the law won passage in the House by being added to a funding bill for the military.

"The Real ID Act was sold as an illegal-immigration fix bill, when in fact it reduces every American's freedom," Sparapani said. "The provisions of this bill could not have passed on their own. Sadly, their inclusion in a 'must pass' bill means that immigrants and citizens alike will face an unnecessary loss of freedom and privacy."

For more enterprise computing news, visit Computerworld online. Story copyright ? 2005 Computerworld, Inc. All rights reserved

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It's The Mark of the Beast!!

by Roger99a In reply to One step closer to Nation ...

Oh...wait....that's our Social Security number. Nevermind.

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Actually that is exactly what I was going to ask

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to It's The Mark of the Beas ...

I thought that your Social Security Number did exactly the same thing.

But I suppose that adding a few more layers of Bureaucrats into the mix helps to keep the bureaucrats working doesn't it?

Col ]:)

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I'm waiting...

by Salamander In reply to Actually that is exactly ...

...for one of those bureaucrats to sneak up behind me and airgun a chip into the back of my head "for my own good." Good thing most bureaucrats are slow runners.

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Don't give them ideas

by antuck In reply to I'm waiting...

Don't tell them about an airgun. They will use it. I wonder do the politician have to get the same card or will they be exempt from being bar coded.

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by Salamander In reply to Don't give them ideas

Given government budget cuts, they may have to make do with a nail gun and an air compressor.

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When googling around the EL thread

by neilb@uk In reply to I'm waiting...

I came across some amazing websites covering "The Rapture" - which I'd only ever heard about because of The Simpsons - in which the Post-Armageddon world was discused in detail.

1) First "rapture" happens and people start disappearing (snap!). As this will, obviously, be whole churches full, even comitted atheists like me might catch on.

2) Armageddon (first bit), nuclear war caused by Israel and Russia (I think).

3) Post Apocalypse and those of us left get implanted with an ID chip by the Anti-Christ except - and this is the clever bit - for the people who now believe. (They caught on that SOMETHING was going on with the mass disappearance of Christians!) The fact that you will need this ID chip to get food means that believers will be easier to rapture 'cos they're thin.

4) Armageddon (big bit) and FUBAR for the rest of us!

Salamander! It's gonna happen! If you see lots of buraucrats out speed training - start hoarding food!

Neil :)

p.s. If I have offended any Christians in this post. TOUGH! You are sending me to eternal damnation so fair's fair!

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Well Neil

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to When googling around the ...

Think of it this way.

The idea of Heaven and Hell only arose with the Pauline Christian teachings and they imported a lot of pagan beliefs into the Jewish teachings so to make the people more amiable the the church leaders will they could have introduced the idea of Hell to keep the faithful in control after all how could they have continued to extort money out of the faithful all these years. :)

I've just watched a series on the Minitor and from the description given of this Mythical Greek beast it bears a striking resemblance to the early Christian description of the Devil, Satan. Lucifer or whatever they are calling him/it now.

The whole Christian thing is a myth and we are forever doomed to relive our lives until we eventually get it right and reach enlightenment or the universe ceases to exist which most likely will come first. Now isn't that a joke!

Col ]:)

PS I'm first in line to have my site rating hard coded to 666 so back off! I thought of it first so you have to wait until I leave TR to get it!

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Actually, Col...

by Salamander In reply to Well Neil the Dilbert comic strip, Satan is now more politically-correctly known as "Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light."

I'm sure that he has a staple gun loaded with ID tags.

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by apotheon In reply to Actually, Col...

I thought Phil was still using a tranquilizer gun and a pneumatic tag-attacher for those radio tags on our ears. You know, the big red plastic things we're incapable of noticing.

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Phil's on vacation this week

by Salamander In reply to Actually, Col...

He's left me in charge. In his absence, I've decided to do things the old-fashioned way: with a hole punch and zip ties.

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