The flaws of REAL ID are fundamental, and are slowly being realized by observers across the country. First, the law ignores a basic state right to determine standards and eligibility for issuing a driver’s license....
Second, the bill creates a de facto national ID and raises serious privacy concerns by requiring all states to have similar license features, and to be connected to a national database which will contain personal information on all drivers including name, address, Social Security number, and photo. This system also carries the potential unintended consequence of establishing a “gold standard” for fraudulent activity.....
Third, this system will impose billions of dollars in new costs on states....
Read the entire column here.
I've always been a conservative Republican, but my problem with the party is as follows:
1. The Republicans have abandoned the concept of limited government in pushing through this national id card legislation. I figured it would be ACLU types--and other liberals-- who push to establish something like this. I am surprised at this and feel betrayed by the Republicans on this issue.
2. REAL ID threatens the 4th Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
With biometrics/RFID and the speed of the internet, the government can by-pass the 4th Amendment approaching real-time surveillance (constant searching) of the American people. The 4th Amendment is a good thing. We should keep it as a guiding principle of government. Not by-pass it with legal loopholes and incredible technologies. I am amazed the conservatives are not trying to conserve this freedom. All the talking conservatives I hear say nothing about REAL ID or they just shrug their shoulders. They say people with cell phone cameras violate privacy all the time. But the fact is people with cell phone cameras don't have the authority and abilities of government. Let's think, people!
3. One thing leads to another: Life, and governments, are dynamic. When Social Security numbers were initially required, there was a "promise" that it should never be used for identification purposes. Just thinking through the list of items in my life today that are attached to this number, I can list: I9 Forms to employee, driver's license, mortgage account, bank account, utilities, home phone, cell phone, medical bills, hunting licenses, and credit score. What else is attached to this number and subject to a Google search--let alone to a government agency search?
The government is already big enough. It doesn't need more.
4. "It's already bad, so let's make it worse." I hear this kind of statement regularly: Hey, we've already got the social security number as an ID number. The "bubble" is already popped, so we may as well go ahead with national id. But going further down the wrong road is not progress. We don't have to do anything stupid. We can choose to turn around.
5. "It's not that big a deal." If the REAL ID didn't make a difference toward more power centralized in Washington, they wouldn't do it. The national id card removes obstacles and makes it easier for surveillance of Americans. It is a big deal because it makes a big difference. Lawmakers who buy into surveillance of some will have to buy into surveillance of all--just to be fair.
6. The Republicans did almost NOTHING on illegal immigration: Their laziness to jump on the issue and deal with the problem in the real, physical world (i.e. border) is now an excuse for a massive increase in power over Americans? There is a disconnect here. They do nothing to stop the law-breakers, but they want to come and "tag" me. I smell hypocrisy.
7. The biometrics companies are eager to make money. When I hear their representatives talking about their products, I see people eager to make a buck by disregarding America's heritage of freedom. Thanks folks.
None of these concerns are based on fringe thinking. Truly, our Founders would be horrified at what we have done with the heritage handed down. The spirit of 1776 is long gone. I hope we can get it back. The question is "Do we still believe in Freedom--even in an age of terror and illegal immigration?"
Will we work to solve the problems at hand or cave into a wish-list of a power-desiring government (Republicans)?
Consider some of the articles below:
ACLU Lauds Akaka-Sununu Real ID Fix Bill, Says Additional Privacy and Civil Liberties Safeguards Still Needed
Analysis: Dems plan overhaul of Real ID