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Gabriel

The U.S Real ID Act

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The United States is getting a national ID card. The REAL ID Act establishes uniform standards for state driver's licenses, effectively creating a national ID card. It's a bad idea, and is going to make us all less safe. It's also very expensive. And it's all happening without any serious debate in Congress.

There are specifics about REAL ID that make for bad security,

the REAL ID Act requires driver's licenses to include a "common machine-readable technology." This will, of course, make identity theft easier. Assume that this information will be collected by bars and other businesses, and that it will be resold to companies like ChoicePoint and Acxiom. It actually doesn't matter how well the states and federal government protect the data on driver's licenses, as there will be parallel commercial databases with the same information.

Even worse, the same specification for RFID chips embedded in passports includes details about embedding RFID chips in driver's licenses. I expect the federal government will require states to do this, with all of the associated security problems (e.g., surreptitious access).

REAL ID requires that driver's licenses contain actual addresses, and no post office boxes. There are no exceptions made for judges or police -- even undercover police officers. This seems like a major unnecessary security risk.

REAL ID also prohibits states from issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens. This makes no sense, and will only result in these illegal aliens driving without licenses -- which isn't going to help anyone's security. (This is an interesting insecurity, and is a direct result of trying to take a document that is a specific permission to drive an automobile, and turning it into a general identification device.)

REAL ID is expensive. It's an unfunded mandate: the federal government is forcing the states to spend their own money to comply with the act. I've seen estimates that the cost to the states of complying with REAL ID will be $120 million. That's $120 million that can't be spent on actual security.

And the wackiest thing is that none of this is required. In October 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was signed into law. That law included stronger security measures for driver's licenses, the security measures recommended by the 9/11 Commission Report. That's already done. It's already law.

REAL ID goes way beyond that. It's a huge power-grab by the federal government over the states' systems for issuing driver's licenses.

REAL ID doesn't go into effect until three years after it becomes law, but some expect things to be much worse by then. One fears is that this new uniform driver's license will bring a new level of "show me your papers" checks by the government. Already you can't fly without an ID, even though no one has ever explained how that ID check makes airplane terrorism any harder.

If you haven't heard much about REAL ID in the newspapers, that's not an accident. The politics of REAL ID is almost surreal. It was voted down last fall, but has been reintroduced and attached to legislation that funds military actions in Iraq. This is a "must-pass" piece of legislation, which means that there has been no debate on REAL ID. No hearings, no debates in committees, no debates on the floor. Nothing.

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/05/real_id.html

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This is by far the best tool yet in prevention of illegal immigration and terrorism. No more drivers licenses. Employers will need to verify its employees have the real ID card or face staunch fines thumbsup.gif It also allows the finishing of the border fence with Mexico in San Diego.. I love it.. We have been going bankrupt because of these criminals. yes.gif

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You know most dictators have tried doing this in an attempt to moniter its citzens. I know is sounds good but looked at the reasons why alot of people oppose it. They are going to throw RFID chips in the id's so they will be able to track your every move. This is big brother government all the way.

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this is another thing the government does that doesn't work. it will hurt the innocent and do nothing to the guilty criminals. criminals don't want to be found, they will not register for something like this. they have or use fake ID now, they will do the same when this is in acted. there should be more of an uproar over this, but i guess they are trying to pass it under the radar in congress.

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the this is immagrents wont get one and will drive with out licences

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You know most dictators have tried doing this in an attempt to moniter its citzens. I know is sounds good but looked at the reasons why alot of people oppose it. They are going to throw RFID chips in the id's so they will be able to track your every move. This is big brother government all the way.

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Paranoid people never help in this world... RFID Infomation.

The cost of funding this to stop illegal immigration would pay for it's self. CA spends around 10.4 BILLION a year on illegal immigrants, now think about cutting just a quarter of that down. That is 4.16 billion saved, just in CA!!! Illegal immgrants have been long ignored. But now that they are so kindly filtering their crime waves north, more people are becoming aware of the damge these criminals do to them and communities.

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but how is this going to help people find illegals? you can find them without putting this national ID card into action. people will still hire illegals either way, because they are cheap labor.

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"That's $120 million that can't be spent on actual security."

the 120 mill could be spent on immagration

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illegals cant get drivers license now what would a national id do to prevent them from coming over. it will only make things difficult on citzens. Didnt they just pass a bill to give illiegals health care???

And then they pass a national id to help prevent illegal immigration??

Does that make any sense??

I am not paranoid i just have a bad feeling about this national id. They use RFID on our badges at work in order to go through doors but that also allows them to see everywhere you go in the building. So i know what they can and cant do with these things not to mentiion it is really easy to steal information off RFID tags. Thats one of the main concerns of people who oppose this.

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Thanks for posting this. Too bad there's nothing we can do about it. Like the monopoly money we have now, I never got to have a say in it that I know of.

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The border fence will help stop illegals, there is money in the REAL ID Act to hire more border patrol. And the card is cross checked against social security and birth records before issuing drivers licenses. Then the employers need to verify all have on prior to hiring. This means the fake drivers licenses illegals obtain wont fly because the cross reference will prove fraud. Employers will face huge fines for not verifying. So they will stop hiring illegals.. That what it will do to stop illegals. People driving in CA without licenses will be loosing thier cars straight up.. So it may not do everything, but it sure as hell helps.. Baby steps.

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incrementalism

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