General background information about the National ID Card system
... as it appears to be taking shape
Identity Cards: Frequently Asked Questions
National ID Card FAQ
National ID Card. All states are preparing
to issue new driver's licenses embedded with "standard identifier" data — a national ID. A national ID with new tracking
technologies means we're heading into an Orwellian world of no privacy.
Internet ID Plot Being Tested in Two States. A plot by the Obama administration to
impose Internet IDs on Americans is now officially being rolled out, with pilot programs for the
controversial online "driver's license" scheme already beginning in both Michigan and Pennsylvania.
According to the White House, the virtual "Identity Ecosystem" being funded and pushed by the
federal government is supposed to make the Internet more "secure" and "convenient." Critics across
the political spectrum, however, are warning that the Orwellian scheme only makes it more
convenient for the feds to spy on people, control the public, and suppress dissent.
under Obama is taking control of the internet.
Starting next month, all D.C. licenses will need to be
replaced. Starting May 1, the District [of Columbia] will start issuing Real ID
licenses that conform to stringent federal regulations, the Department of Motor Vehicles announced
last week. Any driver's license issued before that date will need to be replaced by Jan. 19,
2015, to enter certain federal buildings (the D.C. DMV's site incorrectly states that it will begin
on Oct. 1) and by 2016 to board a domestic flight (alternatively, a passport can still be used).
All other licenses, permits and identification cards issued by the DMV also are affected by the new
WH Touts Kenyan
Program to Obtain National ID Cards for Voter Registration. As President Obama and his family continue their tour of Africa, the White
House put out a Fact Sheet entitled "U.S. Support for Strengthening Democratic Institutions, Rule of Law, and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa."
One of the first items highlighted by the White House is a $53 million program in Kenya that helps young people "obtain National identification
cards, a prerequisite to voter registration."
Rubio Flips Again,
Helps Sink Biometric Visa Tracking Amendment. The Senate voted down an amendment to the upper chamber's immigration bill proposed by
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) that would require a full biometric visa tracking system placed at every land, sea, and air port of entry in the United
States before legalized immigrants could receive green cards. The measure, which was also called for by the 9/11 Commission in the wake of
the 2001 terrorist attacks, would establish a biometric exit-entry system.
Shamnesty's New ID rules would threaten citizens' rights.
Sensible immigration reform will strengthen American society and economy. But it must also respect the rights of U.S. citizens and those
aspiring to join them. Buried in the comprehensive immigration reform legislation before the Senate are obscure provisions that impose
on Americans expansive national identification systems, tied to electronic verification schemes. Under the guise of "reform," these
trample fundamental rights and freedoms.
National ID With Immigration Bill. Driver's license photographs and biographic information of most Americans would be
accessible through an expanded Department of Homeland Security nationwide computer network if the immigration legislation pending
before the Senate becomes law. The proposed expansion is part of an effort to crack down on illegal immigration by requiring
all employers to confirm the identity and legal status of any new workers by tapping into a Homeland Security Department system
called E-Verify, which is now used voluntarily by about 7 percent of employers in the United States.
Senators in Immigration Talks Mull Federal IDs for All
Workers. Key senators are exploring an immigration bill that would force every U.S. worker — citizen or not — to carry
a high-tech identity card that could use fingerprints or other personal markers to prove a person's legal eligibility to work. The idea,
signaled only in vaguely worded language from senators crafting a bipartisan immigration bill, has privacy advocates and others concerned that
the law would create a national identity card that, in time, could track Americans at airports, hospitals and through other facets of their lives.
Would Internal Passports Be Next?
One of the things that has always distinguished the United States from the authoritarian countries of the world in that we have the
freedom to travel anywhere and everywhere within the country — at will and without any required national documentation.
We don't have internal passports and we don't have national ID cards. However, our betters at Pravda on the Potomac (or the
Washington Post, if you prefer) think we all should have a universal national ID card with biometric identifiers built into it. They
propose this as a means to keep employers from hiring illegal aliens and as a means to deter illegal immigration.
DHS Delays REAL ID Implementation Indefinitely.
After years of kicking the can on the 2005 law, and just 13 states in compliance, Napolitano kicks it once again to a "suitable date."
ID and the E-Verify Rebellion. E-Verify is a federal background check system that its proponents
intend to be used on every person seeking work in the United States. Once in place, E-Verify would expand
to new uses, giving the federal government direct regulatory control of all Americans' lives through control
of proof of identity. It's being fitted to operate using only databases, so I've been referring to it
as a "cardless national ID."
The birth of Big Brother. "The S.S. number ... is the number the government uses to make sure you pay your
taxes, to keep track of where you work (and how much you earn), where you bank (and how much you have in the bank),
where you live, whom you marry, whether you have children (each of them to be issued their own ear tag in turn) and
so on ... ." The Tea Partyers who loathe Obamacare while cashing their Social Security checks
should ask themselves: Would Obamacare even be remotely enforceable without a government-issued, mandatory
ID number to keep track of you and your money?
Civil Liberties on a Slippery Slope. The idea of a national I.D. card has been around for decades.
Over the years Democrats have most often proposed it as a mechanism for easily determining one's citizenship,
and one's eligibility for government-funded healthcare services. Republicans, on the other hand, used to
consistently oppose the idea, on the grounds that in order to issue federal I.D. cards the U.S. federal
government had to collect more private personal data about individual citizens. ... In 2003 Republicans were
outraged when then-U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton proposed a national I.D. card program. Today, the
Republican presidential frontrunner is campaigning with the idea.
The Case Against Driver's
Licenses: That little plastic laminated card you've got in your wallet or purse — you
know, the state's permission slip for operating a motor vehicle? Ever stop to reflect how peripheral the
driving part of a driver's license is? Because, of course, a driver's license is in fact our national
ID card. It's extremely hard to function in modern society without this national ID card —
even if you never get behind the wheel of an automobile. You can't open a bank account, cash a check,
visit the doctor, vote, board an airplane or even get a job without one.
The Editor says...
The streets and freeways are dangerous because the State will let practically anybody have a driver's license, and
even with a terrible driving record, keep it. The license's function as a National ID Card
would explain why.
Senators push Obama for biometric national ID card. In a meeting with the
president, Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham say that a federally issued ID card with biometric information such as a handprint is necessary to curb
Will Americans Receive a Microchip Implant in 2013 per Obamacare?.
A major news story broke on AOL and countless other mainstream news media outlets, this past week, that the Obama Health Care Bill will require
all U.S. citizens and babies to receive a microchip or Medchip by March 23, 2013. Whether or not the microchip requirement in the
bill is implemented by 2013, remains to be seen.
Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans. President Obama is
planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White
House official said here today [1/7/2011]. It's "the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government" to centralize efforts toward creating an
"identity ecosystem" for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.
Real ID Act May Finally Be Enforced In 2013.
Nearly a decade after Congress passed a crucial security measure to prevent a repeat of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Obama Administration
finally plans to implement the law next year after much stalling. Known as the Real ID Act, the national identification measure was enacted in
2005 at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to verify the authenticity of every driver's license applicant. It forces states to require that
documents — such as a birth certificate or passport — submitted to get the card are legitimate and that the applicant is in the
United States legally.
The Editor says...
It will be interesting to see if Barack H. Obama can get one of these cards, since he has
a phony birth certificate, he's evidently
using somebody else's Social Security number, and may
have dual citizenship.
Obama Wants To Implement Bush's National ID.
The REAL ID Act would establish a national driver's license database by requiring states to comply with costly and restrictive federal licensing
standards. Estimated costs are $23.1 billion over a 10 year period. The government would require all 245 million
license and state ID holders to visit their friendly DMV to acquire a special ID card, without which you would not be able to get a job, rent a
car, fly, collect Social Security, enter a federal building, open a bank account, or take advantage of any government service.
Obamacare requires all U.S. citizens to receive a microchip or Medchip by
March 23, 2013. I tend to believe that the microchip or sign of the beast is going to be more of a secular thing. People
simply won't do it[,] so then what? Medical care will go underground. But then what happens when the banking industry requires it?
Obama's National ID Card.
"Your papers, please." As a kid, I heard radio shows where someone with a German accent would ask this. Now it's coming to America.
Only worse. There won't be papers. There will be a plastic card backed up by a data base with your vital information in it.
Obama Administration Reportedly
Plans to Create Internet ID for All Americans. White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt told the website it is "the absolute
perfect spot in the U.S. government" to centralize efforts toward creating an "identity ecosystem" for the Internet. The National Strategy for
Trusted Identities in Cyberspace is currently being drafted by the Obama administration and will be released by the president in a few months.
Obama's Internet passport. Federalized security
screening at airports has been such a success that President Obama wants to apply the same government "expertise" to the realm of online commerce and
commentary. The White House cybersecurity adviser joined Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Jan. 7  to announce what amounts to a
national ID card for the Internet.
Obama administration moves forward
with unique internet ID for Americans. [T]hough details are still pretty scant, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, speaking at an event
at the Stanford Institute, stressed that the new system would not be akin to a national ID card, or a government controlled system, but that it
would enhance security and reduce the need for people to memorize dozens of passwords online. Sorry, Locke, sounds like a national ID system to
us. Anyway, the Obama administration is currently drafting what it's dubbed the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which is
expected at the Department of Commerce in a few months.
Obama's National I.D.
Card. Shortly, all 50 States, under the directive of the Obama Administration's Department of Homeland Security, will be required to
federalize their driver's licenses, effectively converting what was a uniquely, "local" state drivers' license into what amounts to a "National ID
Card" — or, as some opponents to the concept during the Clinton years called it, "a United States Internal Passport."
National ID Card. On stage in Sioux City, Romney laid out for Republicans his plan for a national
identification card system to distinguish between those here without permission and those legally permitted to
live and work in the United States. As an additional protection against encouraging further illegal entrance,
Romney proposed an expansion of the E-Verify program, which requires employers to investigate the immigration
status of potential workers.
The Bipartisan War on
Liberty: Mitt Romney considers it a problem that many foreign nationals enter America without
a government permission slip. His solution: Force every U.S. resident to carry a biometric
House Republicans attempt to revive Real ID.
If you're a resident of one of at least 24 states including Arizona, Georgia, and Washington, your driver's
license may no longer be valid for boarding an airplane or entering federal buildings as of May 11,
2011. That's the deadline that senior House Republicans are calling on the Obama administration to impose,
saying states must be required to comply with so-called Real ID rules creating a standardized digital identity
card that critics have likened to a national ID.
resurrecting RealID bugaboo. If and when RealID takes full effect, anyone wishing to
board a plane, enter a federal building (including a courthouse), or visit any federal government
office to obtain a benefit (such as Social Security or veteran's benefits), and who fails to present
a RealID-compliant driver's license, would be turned away. Americans not only should encourage
the Obama Administration to further postpone implementation of the RealID program, but demand it take
steps to drive a stake through the heart of this unnecessary and privacy-invasive Act, so it cannot
ever again rear its ugly head.
The Editor says...
Notice that the people who are pushing Real ID are the same people who are opposed to new laws
requiring photo ID at the polls.
Revise Rules on Driver's Licenses as National ID Approaches. The last three states to allow illegal
immigrants to obtain driver's licenses — Washington, New Mexico and Utah — are now
steeped in battles to revise their laws as a federal deadline approaches for all 50 states to issue
identity cards that meet a new national standard. States must be in compliance by May with the regulations
laid out in the 2005 REAL ID Act. The law, a recommendation of the Sept. 11 commission that
investigated the 2001 terror attacks, creates a national security standard for state-issued identification
cards to be used for purposes like boarding airplanes and entering federal buildings.
passport. Federalized security screening at airports has been such a success that President
Obama wants to apply the same government "expertise" to the realm of online commerce and commentary.
The White House cybersecurity adviser joined Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Jan. 7 to announce
what amounts to a national ID card for the Internet.
ID Card for
Workers Is at Center of Immigration Plan. Lawmakers working to craft a new comprehensive
immigration bill have settled on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national
biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be required to obtain.
Your Papers, Please!
I recently received an e-mail from the St. Louis Association of Realtors detailing a new policy being implemented
by the Missouri Real Estate Commission (the official governmental board regulating real estate practices).
In the next licensing period anyone licensed to sell or rent real estate will have to be fingerprinted and their
fingerprints — along with a tougher background check — kept on file with both the state
police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Of course, I will have to pony up $52.20 for this singular
honor. Granted, other states have had this provision, but why implement it in Missouri now?
Fingerprint Registry in
Housing Bill. Fingerprints are considered to be among the most personal of information, and
fingerprint databases created and proposed in the name of national security have generated much debate.
Recently, "Server in the Sky" — a proposed international database of the fingerprints of suspected criminals
and terrorists to be shared among the U.S., U.K. and Canada — has ignited a firestorm of controversy. As
have cavalier comments by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that fingerprints aren't "personal data."
Borrowers Next? [Scroll down] I have still not been able to find any debate or justification
for it, but it seems now that fingerprint requirements are a simplistic way for polticians to argue that they
are getting tough about a particular problem, even if it's questionable how much fingerprinting will contibute
to solving the problem. Some commenters were right to note that this is an issue concerning federalism as
well as privacy. Through the CNET story, comments on the blog, and e-mails I have received, I learned about
other state fingerprint registries of questionable justification for various professions.
Democrats Push for National ID. At least
since 9/11, the Democrats have, if anything, been even worse than the Republicans in their push for a
national ID. I recall the Bush administration, very early on, dismissing this totalitarian idea,
although Bush soon enough signed the Real ID Act into law, with the support of hawkish and anti-immigration
conservatives. But the establishment left is also a major threat on this front, and Democrats traditionally
get a pass on civil liberties issues, whereas under Republicans there is more populist criticism of
surveillance, police powers and the like.
in for states on Real ID. Like it or not — and many in the Obama administration
don't — Real ID is coming to a driver's license near you. Having failed to get
Congress to revise the tough new security rules for state-issued licenses in the Real ID Act, the
Department of Homeland Security says it is working out how to implement the law. But critics fear
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to gut the intent of the legislation's authors.
The National Biometric ID
Card: The Mark of the Beast? As technology grows more sophisticated and the government
and its corporate allies further refine their methods of keeping tabs on the American people, those of us
who treasure privacy increasingly find ourselves engaged in a struggle to maintain our freedoms in the midst
of the modern surveillance state. Just consider the many ways we're already being monitored and tracked:
through our Social Security numbers, bank accounts, purchases and electronic transactions; by way of our
correspondence and communications devices -- email, phone calls and mobile phones; through chips implanted
in our vehicles, identification documents, even our clothing.
ID Card: Here We Go Again. As CNET reports, Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham
recently proposed a new identity card for workers in an immigration reform bill. Their proposal would
require all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who want jobs to obtain a "high-tech, fraud-proof Social
Security card" with a unique biometric identifier. Regional Social Security offices would have to
issue cards with embedded biometric markers.
alarm with call for national ID card. A plan by Senate Democratic leaders to reform the nation's immigration
laws ran into strong opposition from civil liberties defenders before lawmakers even unveiled it Thursday [4/29/2010].
Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric
information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.
& Co. Want National Biometric ID. A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is teaming up with the Obama
administration to legalize illegal immigrants and require biometric national ID cards for every American worker,
prompting a swift and bipartisan backlash across the nation. The proposal would unconstitutionally force
nearly all Americans to obtain the new "tamper proof" Social Security cards while purporting to require that all
employers purchase new $800 ID scanners. It would also provide a "path to citizenship" for the estimated
12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants currently living in America.
Uncle Sam Wants
You to Have an Online ID. The Identity Ecosystem would allow Americans to choose to obtain a
single authenticated ID for online transactions. Like a passport, this single ID could travel with
them online and be used to access everything from e-mail, to online health records and banking information.
Furthermore, the Identity Ecosystem would only reveal the least amount of information necessary for each
The Editor says...
It is easy to predict how this will evolve into a national ID card: If the online ID
successfully identifies everyone (uniquely) on the internet, it will become mandatory for online
transactions. When it is accepted as proof of identification at pharmacies, it will become
mandatory there, too. Banks — ditto. Once it becomes necessary for license
renewal or income taxes, the adoption will be complete.
liberties groups fight biometric IDs. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
published an article March 19 that outlined several principles they intend to include in immigration reform
legislation, and described a requirement for biometric Social Security cards "to ensure that illegal workers
cannot get jobs." In response, the American Civil Liberties Union, American Libraries Association and
about 40 other groups and individuals wrote to the White House officials and members of Congress on April 13 to
urge them to reject a biometric national ID card because the groups claim it would invade privacy, allow for
troubling government controls and be risky and expensive.
Democrats' Answer to Illegal Immigration is National ID. [Scroll
down] The exact wording of the suggestion calls for "improved technology" that will assist ICE in determining
eligibility for work in the U.S. While that sounds innocuous enough, later in the document, under the section entitled,
"Ending Illegal Employment Through Biometric Employment Verification," [Senator Harry] Reid, et al, set forth their
chilling scheme to require all Americans to carry a 21st Century version of the Social Security Card. The national
identification card will be embedded with biometric data detectable by federal agents. Specifically, the Reid plan
will mandate that within 18 months of the passage of immigration reform legislation, every American worker carry the
"fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant, wear resistant, and machine-readable social security cards containing a photograph and an
electronically coded micro-processing chip which possesses a unique biometric identifier for the authorized card-bearer."
Show me your papers.
All United States citizens may be required to carry a biometric I.D. card! That's not Orwell's Big
Brother speaking. Rather Democrat Chuck Schumer (D- New York), and Republican Lindsay Graham (R- South Carolina)
have devised new legislation to mandate that every worker carry a government I.D. card to prove his
citizenship. The card must be carried every day and may be checked by employers and any governmental
authority upon request.
biometric, national ID card an immigration game changer? The Democrats' immigration-reform proposal
is 26 pages long. Pages 8 through 18 are devoted to "ending illegal employment through
biometric employment verification."
blasts national ID card proposal. Civil liberties advocates decried a Democratic proposal that
would require all workers in the United States to carry an ID card with biometric identifiers.
5 Problems with National
ID Cards. Reason #2: An ID card system will lead to a slippery slope of surveillance
and monitoring of citizens. A national ID card system would not protect us from terrorism, but it
would create a system of internal passports that would significantly diminish the freedom and privacy of
law-abiding citizens. Once put in place, it is exceedingly unlikely that such a system would be
restricted to its original purpose. Social Security numbers, for example, were originally intended
to be used only to administer the retirement program. But that limit has been routinely ignored
and steadily abandoned over the past 50 years.
Senators push plan to
require all U.S. citizens to carry worker ID cards. There's more talk on Capitol Hill about
requiring all U.S. citizens to carry a worker ID card before getting a job. It's part of a major
overhaul of immigration policy, and the plan could go before President Obama as soon as this week.
reform could lead to biometric Social Security card. Two U.S. senators prominent in immigration
reform efforts have proposed that all Americans be issued biometric Social Security cards, containing data from
either a fingerprint or retinal scan to help employers determine whether the holder is legal. In explaining
the only current bipartisan reform proposal, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has called such a high-tech Social
Security card "a linchpin" in efforts to win support in Congress for fixing an immigration enforcement system
that many agree is broken.
Get ready for the know all, see all national
ID card... plus, plus. Obama and his administration want to know and control everything; namely
us. If given the chance, Obama and his crew will morph into place a national ID Card for Workers under
the guise of repairing and responding to the Immigration problem. Now, the push is on to quickly create
a biometric card, which would have embedded information, personal information and fingerprints. Who
cares about that old fossil... privacy rights.
[Superfluous ellipses in original]
Proposal Sets National Rules For State
IDs. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) outlined legislation that would set national standards for state-issued driver's licenses,
permitting rapid data-sharing among certain government agencies. The measure marks Congress's first attempt at a comprehensive overhaul
of state identification systems since [the 2001] terrorist attacks.
Plans to Scale Back Real ID Law. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano wants to repeal
and replace the controversial, $4 billion domestic security initiative known as Real ID, which calls
for placing more secure licenses in the hands of 245 million Americans by 2017. The new proposal,
called Pass ID, would be cheaper, less rigorous and partly funded by federal grants, according to draft
legislation that Napolitano's Senate allies plan to introduce as early as tomorrow [6/15/2009].
The DMV's No Smile Zone. The
DMV has always been the aboriginal's greatest fear realized. Whereas natives formerly believed that when
the Great White Bwana took their photo the camera also stole their soul; the DMV streamlines the process by
crushing your soul without bothering with the photo. My mental picture of the DMV has always been the
crowd scene of the 1984 Apple Computer commercial: gray people, gray clothing, gray surroundings.
After Long Delay, Regulations Issued for Flawed
National ID Plan. More than two years after Congress rushed through passage of the REAL ID
Act, the Department of Homeland Security announced proposed regulations on March 1 that would turn the
state driver's license into a national identity card. The estimated cost of the plan could be as high
as $23.1 billion, according to the federal government, and the national ID system will increase security
risks as well as the threats to personal privacy.
REAL-ID: speed-pass to slavery.
The government has no constitutional authority to gather this information unless a warrant has been issued by a judge
after reviewing an affidavit showing probable cause of a crime; unless, of course, the information is given
voluntarily. So far, no one is "forced" to obtain an Enhanced Drivers' License, unless, of course, he
wants to drive a car, board an airplane, or visit a federal building.
General Assembly rejects REAL ID provisions. The Virginia House and Senate have overwhelmingly passed
legislation rejecting elements of the federal government's Real ID law, which requires states to issue federally
mandated drivers' licenses or similar forms of identification that would become part of a national database.
REAL ID Expensive, Not Better.
Some security experts question whether licenses and documents compliant with REAL ID will be more
effective than the existing state-run license systems. As Timothy D. Ringgold, CEO of Defense
Solutions, pointed out, some of the 9/11 hijackers had real drivers' licenses — they were who they
said they were. "The driver's license is a credible i.d. card and probably as good a system
as we'll get," said Ringgold.
and the Voter Identification Problem: The new requirements include a digital photograph and a
security measure within the cards to prevent counterfeiting. Also, states must verify each applicant's
personal information and legal status by comparing it against the Federal Social Security database and passport
What was not included in the new regulations was a controversial provision to implant a computer
chip which would store personal information in each driver's license.
National Governors Association (NGA) Backs
National ID Card. Limited government advocates, who have made significant progress in fighting the
implementation of a national identification (ID) card, were recently bushwhacked by the National Governors
Association (NGA) when the organization began a stealth lobbying effort to push the measure.
E-Verify and the Emerging Surveillance State. The
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 made it illegal for employers to "knowingly" employ unauthorized workers, and
E-Verify (then known as "Basic Pilot") grew out of the requirement for work-eligibility verification. Since its
inception the program has been voluntary for all businesses. However, that's about to change. In 2007, after
the dramatic defeat of the illegal immigration amnesty bills, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced
several changes to the E-Verify System.
On the other hand...
E-Verify: Setting the Record
Straight. A new report on the voluntary E-Verify system shows a decent record at keeping more
illegal aliens from taking American jobs. That may not be what you read elsewhere, but that's the truth
behind the spin being leveled against employment verification. ... Queries in this program give accurate
responses 96 percent of the time. Not bad for a government program.
Do we need a national
ID card? Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, members of the U.S. Congress took up the idea of
requiring a national identity card; they did that again just before the 2004 election. But there is news
out of the United Kingdom that national ID cards may become mandatory by 2010. ... In the United Kingdom, talk
of a national ID card is linked to the establishment of a national biometric identity database.
Within two years, all U.K. citizens renewing their passports will be required to submit biometric information.
While they may opt out of receiving an actual ID card until 2010, the biometric data will still be
Biometrics Pinned to Social
Security Cards. The Social Security card faces its first major upgrade in 70 years under
two immigration-reform proposals slated for debate this week that would add biometric information to the card
and finally complete its slow metamorphosis into a national ID.
Real-ID: Costs and Benefits. Most
Americans have been and continue to be opposed to a national ID card. Even just after 9/11, polls
showed a bare majority (51%) in favor — and that quickly became a minority opinion again. As
such, both political parties came out against the card, which meant that the only way it could become law was
to sneak it through. Republican Cong. F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin did just that.
3 states told to comply with ID
rule. Millions of residents of three states will soon face tougher and longer screening at airport
checkpoints if their governors defy a federal law requiring new, more-secure driver's licenses. Maine, New
Hampshire and South Carolina have until March 31 to say whether they plan to comply with the law, which they say
is costly and will inconvenience residents by forcing them to get new licenses.
More on REAL ID. In March, the
Department of Homeland Security released its long-awaited guidance document regarding national implementation
of the Real ID program, as part of its post-9/11 national security initiatives. It is perhaps quite
telling that despite bipartisan opposition, Real ID was buried in a 2005 "must-pass" military spending
bill and enacted into law without public debate or congressional hearings.
Real ID game of chicken:
In recent remarks about carrying out the 2005 Real ID Act, Mr. Chertoff put state governments and American
citizens alike on notice that no opposition would be tolerated in complying with the mandates of the federal
law, even if it means citizens of those states expressing concerns about the law's provisions will be unable to
board commercial aircraft. While disingenuously professing no desire to "punish" citizens because the
government of the state in which they live might not be ready to jump onto the federal government's Real ID
bandwagon, Mr. Chertoff said this was precisely what the department would do.
REAL ID Implementation Slow in States.
With the federal deadline for issuing drivers' licenses that meet the criteria of the REAL ID Act of 2005 barely
five months away, few if any states appear ready to comply. Seventeen states have passed legislation that
specifically prevents them from complying with what many are calling a de facto "national ID" law. As
of press time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had yet to issue final REAL ID technical rules.
States Resist REAL ID
Implementation. Opponents of REAL ID cite two main problems: privacy
and financial issues. For certain states, the privacy implications are paramount.
"The very idea that Americans would need an ID card to travel around their own country
is a huge privacy issue," said New Hampshire State Rep. Joel Winters (D-Manchester). For
other states, cost issues drive opposition. "State leaders got serious about privacy
when they saw the cost of REAL ID compliance," said Jim Harper, director of information
policy studies at the Cato Institute and a member of DHS's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory
He points out his state was offered a $3 million grant to test REAL ID
and turned it down.
Oppose REAL ID and "no work list" in
immigration bill. The current debate on immigration reform in the U.S. Senate has
been highly secretive. The text of the bill has still not been officially released,
though it has been leaked, and the mainstream media reports have been largely superficial.
Did you know that this bill would reinstate the REAL ID card, which has already been
rejected by fifteen states? Indeed, the legislation makes it impossible for Americans to
work without either a national REAL ID card or U.S. passport.
Real ID Dropouts Leave
Security Holes. Defying Uncle Sam, four states have passed laws refusing to comply with federal
rules to make state-issued driver's licenses more secure, casting further doubt on the future of the 2005
Real ID Act. Although it is rare for states to reject an act of Congress, New Hampshire and Oklahoma
in May joined Montana and Washington state in passing statutes this year refusing to go along with Real ID.
The refusals mean those states' driver's licenses eventually won't be accepted as official identification when
boarding airplanes or federal buildings.
Minnesota and Alaska Legislatures Reject Real ID.
In May Minnesota and Alaska became the eighth and ninth states whose legislatures have rejected Real ID,
joining Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington. A dozen more states have
approved resolutions calling for the costs of the Real ID program to be fully covered by Congress or the act repealed.
California Goes Too Easy on Real ID Act. New Hampshire, on the
other hand, is kicking up a storm warning of big brother and what some consider "the mark of the beast." In March, the New Hampshire
House passed a bill barring the state from taking part in Real ID, rejecting it as a de facto national ID system. Testifying at
a hearing on the issue, the Cato Institute's Jim Harper said, "Americans and New Hampshirites should be free to go about their lawful business
without being asked to identify themselves at government checkpoints. We are increasingly seeing this freedom restricted."
Try To Tighten Driver's License Rules. Americans born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to get
more secure driver's licenses in the next six years under ambitious post-9/11 security rules to be unveiled
Friday [1/11/2007] by federal officials. The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the
final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants
and con artists to get government-issued identification. The effort once envisioned to take effect in
2008 has been pushed back in the hopes of winning over skeptical state officials.
Court to decide if illegal immigrants' use
of Social Security numbers is ID theft. The Supreme Court agreed Monday [10/20/2008] to decide whether
people picked up on immigration violations also can face charges of identity theft if they use Social
Security and other identification numbers that belong to others. Federal appeals courts have split
over whether the defendant must know that the phony ID numbers belong to a real person and the court
said it will resolve the question.
ID Implementation Delayed. The Department of Homeland Security rolled out its final
regulations Friday [1/18/2008] for the REAL ID program and delayed the deadlines for states to
comply with the law. Critics, however, say the law cannot be implemented effectively and
should be abandoned.
REAL ID timeline.
REAL ID: A Real Good
Idea. Driver's licenses and state IDs are not party favors for guests, but privileges extended to
citizens and permanent legal residents, no matter where they came from or what religion they practice.
Some States Welcome National
ID. Even as rebellion grows in some state capitals against the looming Real ID mandate from
Congress, proponents speaking Thursday [2/8/2007] on a panel at the RSA Conference could barely contain their
enthusiasm for putting standard government-issued ID cards in the hands of all citizens.
On the other hand...
"Real ID" — Real Rebellion Brewing.
Last month, Maine became the first state to pass legislation declining participation in the national ID system
mandated by the Real ID Act of 2005. State-level legislation either repudiating Real ID, asking
Congress to repeal its worst privacy-violating provisions, or asking for a delay while states study the issue,
exists in various stages [in several states]. … In other words, a state-led rebellion against Real ID
Growing as States Challenge a Federal Law to Standardize Driver's Licenses. Opposition among
state officials is turning into an open revolt against a federal law calling for the creation of standardized
driver's licenses nationwide that are meant to be less vulnerable to fraud. Maine legislators started off
the rebellion late last month by passing a nonbinding resolution that rejected the law, called the Real ID
Act, which Congress passed in 2005.
34 States Align Against National
I.D. Card. A revolt against a national driver's license, begun in Maine last month, is quickly
spreading to other states. The Maine Legislature on Jan. 26 overwhelmingly passed a resolution
objecting to the Real ID Act of 2005. The federal law sets a national standard for driver's
licenses and requires states to link their record-keeping systems to national databases.
Pushing National IDs: [Scroll down] Under this new
program it won't be the names of terrorists or suspected terrorists that inhabit the new, gargantuan federal
database; it will be the names and personal information of ordinary law-abiding Americans. The measure
in question is the Real ID Act, which creates a de facto national ID for all Americans by requiring
states to both issue licenses that conform to federal Department of Homeland Security guidelines and to link
state driver's-license databases together in a massive new federally administered database.
N.H. Backs Real ID Ban. Calling
the federal Real ID Act "repugnant" to the state and federal constitutions, New Hampshire lawmakers have voted
to join other states in rejecting the federal Real ID Act as tantamount to requiring a national ID card.
Governor to sign bill to block
Real ID plan. Gov. John Baldacci [of Maine] is expected to sign a bill prohibiting Maine from
implementing Real ID, the national identity card system that's been vilified by critics as unworkable
and too expensive, a spokesman said Wednesday [6/6/2007].
card to be national ID. Two proposals being floated around Capitol Hill call for the Social
Security card to be updated with biometric information and for U.S. employers to be required to verify it
with the Department of Homeland Security when hiring. Scared yet? You should be. While
everyone was off fighting the REAL ID battle, national identification proponents were sneaking in the
back door, arguing that the Social Security card should be updated with the latest technology to prevent
illegal immigrants from working.
Real ID Dropouts Leave
Security Holes. Defying Uncle Sam, four states have passed laws refusing to comply with federal
rules to make state-issued driver's licenses more secure, casting further doubt on the future of the 2005
Real ID Act. Although it is rare for states to reject an act of Congress, New Hampshire and
Oklahoma in May joined Montana and Washington state in passing statutes this year refusing to go along
with Real ID.
Hampshire can stop the coming federal police state. The New Hampshire Senate will soon vote on
what might be the most important bill to protect our freedoms in many years. House Bill 1582, which the
House overwhelmingly passed last month, would preclude New Hampshire from participating in the REAL ID
Act, a federal law passed last year establishing a de facto national ID card.
To get the opposing viewpoint on the Real ID Act, visit the Coalition
for a Secure Driver's License.
Speaking of opposing viewpoints...
The Real Importance of REAL ID.
Billions of dollars is (sic) lost each year due to identity theft, the fraudulent obtaining of government
benefits, and other criminal activities. … Any costs involved in implementing reasonably secure standard
identification cards will be more than recouped by the contribution that secure IDs make to facilitating travel
and commerce while combating criminal exploitation of the freedoms of a free society.
Group warns bill contains
national ID. An umbrella organization of dozens of groups that monitor legislation affecting
civil liberties says a new immigration-reform measure contains a provision that could lead to de facto
establishment of a national identification scheme. Officials with Liberty Coalition say the bill,
called the "Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act," ominously "creates
a dangerous new national identity database system and firmly establishes the predicate for a new
national ID card system."
ID card trials to start next week. Trials of identity cards are to be
launched next week, the BBC has learnt.
Illegal immigrants with state IDs arrested at
CIM. Three illegal immigrants with state-issued identification cards were arrested last week at the California Institution for
Men, officials said Tuesday [4/12/2005]. … One was under a "final order," meaning he had been ordered deported but had never left the
country. Despite this, all three men were able to enter the prison with state-issued identification.
Citizen of the Republic: The National ID Card
Bruce Schneier on National ID Cards: My primary objection isn't the
totalitarian potential of national IDs, nor the likelihood that they'll create a whole immense new class of social and economic dislocations. Nor
is it the opportunities they will create for colossal boondoggles by government contractors. My objection to the national ID card, at least for
the purposes of this essay, is much simpler. It won't work. It won't make us more secure.
Campaigns of Opposition to ID Card Schemes: Proposals for
identity (ID) cards have provoked public outrage and political division in several countries. In this paper Simon Davies analyses the key
elements of public opposition to ID Card schemes, and profiles the massive 1987 Australian campaign against a national ID card.
National ID FAQs: Such a card has three characteristics: 1) All citizens
and residents "of a given jurisdiction" must have it. 2) All who have it must carry it, and present it upon request by authorities. (Even
when there is no specific evidence that a crime has been committed or a regulation violated.) Finally, the card must be linked to a database with
other information about the person.
Establishing a National ID Card: Definition and Debate [PDF]
What's Our National Identity? A National ID card
is not really about identity. It is about authorization. A modern National ID System will require Americans to obtain federal
government authorization to travel, work, rent or buy housing, obtain medical care, use financial services, and make many purchases. This
federal authorization could be denied for many reasons including database errors, a suspicious transaction profile, being a deadbeat parent, failure
to pay taxes or fines, and any other social control measures Congress wishes to hang on the system.
National I.D.: At first it will be no big deal, carry the card if you want to or
decline to have the card. Later you will need the card to buy gasoline for your car as gasoline will considered a dangerous weapon that can be used by
terrorists. After that you will need the card for medical services. Soon all credit cards will be "attached" to it, so if you desire to charge
anything, you have to have the card. All of your medical, dental, driving, arrest, and education records will be on the card.
"We Don't Need No Stinkin' National ID Card…" In February , the American
Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) began lobbying Congress for $100 million plus federal
legislation for a plan to nationalize and standardize the state-issued driver's license and link up databases across the country. In other words,
to create a national ID card.
Statement for the Government Reform Committee Hearing on National ID Card Proposals
by Congressman Ron Paul, MD. [N]ational ID cards are a trademark of totalitarianism that contribute nothing to the security of the American
people. I therefore urge my colleagues to reject all proposals for a national ID, and focus instead on measures that will effectively protect
both security and liberty.
National ID System Fails the "Duck Test": If it looks like a duck, walks
like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a DUCK! The push for a national identification system is in full swing by state driver's license
Video: U.S. to use national ID cards?
Do we need a national ID plan? A recent White House proposal says federal agencies
should "coordinate suggested minimum standards for state driver's licenses." Here is their leverage: The federal government hands billions of
dollars a year in transportation cash to the states. There has already been talk in Congress about tying money for highways to the introduction of
National Identification Systems: A Solution in Search of a
Problem. The EFF views impending moves towards a National ID system with alarm. Public officials, in their zeal to appear
to be doing something about terrorism post 9-11, are sending us on a perilous course into a future in which every movement and transaction is subject to
monitoring and surveillance.
Who Goes There? Authentication
Through the Lens of Privacy. This report explores authentication
technologies (including passwords, PKI, biometrics, etc.) and their implications
for the privacy of the individuals being authenticated. As authentication becomes
ever more ubiquitous, understanding its interplay with privacy is vital. The report
examines numerous concepts, including authentication, authorization, identification,
privacy, and security.
Finding 6.5: State-issued driver's licenses are a de facto nationwide identity system. They are
widely accepted for transactions that require a form of government-issued photo ID.
Finding 6.6: Nationwide identity systems by definition create a widespread and widely
used form of identification, which could easily result in inappropriate linkages among
nominally independent databases.
Coalition letter to members of Congress opposing National ID. [PDF]
Privacy International's National ID Card FAQ Page
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About a National ID Card, But Were Afraid To Ask
We Must Not Give in to a National ID: Calls for a national
identification number have sounded with alarming frequency since terrorists bombed the World Trade Center on September 11 .
Members of Congress and government officials insist that a national ID system can protect citizens, and the American public appears all too willing to
relinquish its civil liberties for a superficial sense of security.
ID Nation: The wrong way to go. If a national ID card
system had been in place years ago, and if all the new security measures now in place at America's airports had been in effect on September 11,
those 19 men would still have been able to board their flights and carry out their plan. They jumped through every hoop they needed to in order
to commit their barbarous crime. It is inconceivable that they wouldn't have somehow obtained national ID cards if such cards had been required to
obtain their airline tickets.
A National Identification System: Testimony (against it) by Stephen Moore, an
economist at the Cato Institute.
A Libertarian Conservative Case Against Identity Cards
National ID — Our Line in the Sand: National ID isn't a new
idea. American politicians and bureaucrats have been proposing it since the Great Depression. "Infallible" national ID has been proposed
over the years as a means of fighting communism, illegal immigration, crime, census undercounting, terrorism, welfare fraud, and a variety of other
disasters du jour. If we accept national ID, we'll all have a problem. We won't be one bit safer from violence. And we will have
crossed a crucial line that forever divides the free from the unfree.
Reckless ID card plan will destroy nation's freedom:
The Government has embarked on its most reckless policy to date in pursuing the idea of national identity cards. The initiative will fundamentally change
the nature of government and the character of the nation. This is inevitable because the modern ID card is no simple piece of plastic. It is the
visible component of a web of interactive technology that fuses the most intimate characteristics of the individual with the machinery of state.
Campaigns of opposition to ID card schemes: Proposals for
identity (ID) cards have provoked public outrage and political division in several countries. In this paper Simon Davies analyses the key
elements of public opposition to ID Card schemes, and profiles the massive 1987 Australian campaign against a national ID card.
Too late to stop national ID: It has long since been
understood that safeguarding our freedom requires limiting the government's access to personal information. Where a legitimate purpose is served,
government agencies have been allowed to accumulate limited information for specific purposes. Over the past decade a dramatic shift has taken
place. The government has developed the ability to accumulate the maximum amount of information and provided central access to an army of low
level bureaucrats. All signs indicate that this is just a beginning.
Government Trade Group Promoting National ID Cards:
A government trade association Monday [1/14/2002] called for a national, standardized identification system based on state-issued drivers' licenses.
Democrat Group Backs "Smart IDs": A Democrat policy group said
Friday [1/18/2002] that domestic terrorism could best be fought by using more information technology, including computer chips embedded in driver's licenses
and more sharing of data between law enforcement agencies.
National ID Cards: New Technologies, Same Bad Idea.
National ID System on Horizon? The United States may be
closer to issuing national ID than many think.
Show your papers: Looking for something -- anything -- to prevent
repetitions of the savage attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, some politicians have turned to a favorite nostrum: national
ID cards. Schemes to stuff wallets with standardized identification documents have emerged in the past as a proposed solution to illegal
immigration; terrorism is just the latest motive for tagging Americans like cattle on a ranch. But as any college kid could testify,
ID cards are hardly an insurmountable obstacle.
The National ID Card: It's Baaack!: We've certainly come a long way from the
original purpose of the Social Security card. When the system was created in 1935, individual workers were assigned numbers so that the Treasury could
properly account for the contributions made to the Social Security fund. To assuage the privacy concerns of American citizens, Congress insisted that
the card would never be used for identification purposes. Sixty years later, Congress is thinking about breaking that promise. [Written
September 23, 1997]
Expansive Police Powers Threaten Our Constitutional Rights: Those
who wrote our Constitution sought to ensure our freedoms by creating a document that protects our God-given rights at all times, even when we are engaged in
war. It is a document that has since been used as the model for so many other nations seeking freedom. We must remember that it is how we conduct
ourselves in times of peril and war that reflects the values we truly embody. The ideals of freedom that have made this nation great — indeed,
all the freedoms guaranteed in our Bill of Rights — are the same freedoms we must guard and protect at this critical time.
Libertarians Say Americans Should Reject National ID
Card: The Libertarian Party on Thursday [10/11/2001] criticized the idea of forcing Americans to carry a national identification card. The
party believes that such card would inconvenience ordinary Americans while international terrorists could simply forge one for themselves.
Group Urges Competition, Not ID Cards, To Improve Airline
Security: The National Consumer Coalition's Privacy Group has labeled the Air Transport Association (an airline trade and lobbying group) as
its "privacy villain of the week," because the ATA is pushing the federal government to create a new federal database of air travelers for the
sake of security.
ID Card: The Password to the Police State. The current attempt
to inflict Americans with the burden of having to carry a national ID card did not begin on 9-11 and, indeed, is unrelated to it. The attack
on the World Trade Center is just a convenient excuse to promote this thoroughly un-American idea.
Liberty Is Not A Plastic I.D. Card: There is no time ever when Americans
should surrender their liberty to the constant surveillance by the government. It is quintessentially un-American.
Pushing papers: ID cards not only destroy our anonymity, they also
make identity theft easier.
Against ID Cards: The worst way to fight terrorism.
National I.D. Card: That Irresistible Urge to Control.
Mandatory National ID Cards …for Our Politicians: I think ID cards are a great
idea — every politician should carry one. Crisis is good for statist-leaning governments such as ours because it affords them the opportunity
to package new oppressions under the guise of needed security. Lately, we've been treated to the idea of a national ID card so our police can tell good
guys from bad ones. Such a system will never, of course, be abused. Like all government programs it will be competently and economically
implemented, and will, in fact, produce the desired results because it's not motivated by profit. Indeed, it will be anti-profit in nature, like most
government programs, making it more virtuous still. And thankfully, it will be a cinch to implement, especially if we behave ourselves and don't blather
on about erosion of our rights and other such irrelevancies.
Talk of National ID Card Increases:
Increased talk about the possibility of a national identification card is drawing increased fire from privacy advocates. Discussions about an ID card
began to re-percolate following the September 11 attack on the United States, with several Members of Congress saying the issue was one that merits fresh
consideration as the nation looks for ways to improve national security from terrorist attacks like those on New York and Washington, D.C.
NO National ID Card — Not Now, Not Ever.
Identity Crisis: How Identification Is Overused and
Misunderstood. Does an increase in identification really lead to increased security or an invasion of privacy?
are tagged for the benefit of the farmer, not the cows.