DHS Secretary Chertoff on REAL ID's "COUNTLESS OTHER" USES.


Monday, February 26, 2007

As Bush's ID Plan Was Delayed, Coalition Formed Against It

Spencer S. Hsu and Darryl Fears, of Washingtonpost.com posted this article about REAL ID cards yesterday.

A couple of highlights

While Washington has delayed implementing it, a rebellion against the program has grown. Privacy advocates say the effort could create a de facto national ID card. Meanwhile, state officials charge that complying with federal requirements will cost $11 billion and potentially double fees and waiting times for 245 million Americans whose licenses would have to be reissued starting next year.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the homeland security panel, said in a statement that Real ID may not provide real security and that it is opposed by states "because it is overly burdensome, possibly unworkable, and may actually increase a terrorist's ability to commit identity theft." (Say it again, Joe. Say it again. -JR)
An unusual and powerful alliance of civil liberties groups and libertarian groups important to the political bases of both parties has also mobilized. They describe Orwellian scenarios in which Real ID integrates nationwide databases storing personal information without adequate security safeguards, and they ask who will own and control access to the system.

"Unusual" is right. I find myself siding with the ACLU, Democrats, and Libertarians in opposition to the REAL ID Act. Maybe such a broad cross-section of folks reacting against a national id card indicates that it really is a bad idea.

Also, "Personal information with security safeguards" mean BIOMETRICS, and biometrics means "being booked and tracked like a criminal."

Michael Chertoff's stance on this issue is very frightening. He's not at all making me feel "safe" in my own country. Schemes like biometric, national identification cards are very unsettlling. We should not toss out an entire heritage of freedom in the face of terrorism. If we do that, then I must ask "What are we fighting for? And who is winning the war?"

There is nothing "conservative" about this.

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