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


Friday, February 2, 2007

Eleanor Stables: Getting Real

Eleanor Stables at The American Spectator has a well-written, public policy article entitled Getting Real about the REAL ID Act.

I wrote a letter-to-the-editor in response to her article.

Here it is:

Thank you for your article on the REAL ID Act.

As a conservative, traditional Republican, I have been amazed that it was my party the put the REAL ID Act into law. My concerns are over terms like "minimum security standards," "machine-readable," and "security features."

Knowing how the politicians like to frame the debate, I hear the following:

1. "Minimum security standards" translates as "big step forward in government ability." It is a lot like "common sense" restrictions that never seem to end... If these changes did not make significant strides in the central government's ability to track free citizens, politicians would not push for the changes.

2. "Machine-readable" translates "Easily accessable to anyone in the private or public sector." I hear "identity theft made easy." I also hear, "Breakdown of states' integrity." Everyone's information is potentially accessable with the ease of an internet connection.

3. "Security Standards" means "Biometrics." Republicans sit on their hands when the issue is illegal immigration, yet they want to brand me like cattle and track me with biometrics (or possibly RFID.) When I am finger-printed, DNA-sampled, or retina-scanned, I can never undo that action. Where will the digital information (computer file) containing MY BODY'S INFORMATION go? Will other nation-states have free access to it? Will credit reports be tied to it? My medical records? Where does it end?

In the early days, politicians promised that Social Security numbers were not to be used for identification purposes. But we know where that road led.

Also, the 4th Amendment is at risk. With biometrics/rfid, the government can potentially track Americans in real-time. Why bother with a warrant?

Finally, we are going from "innocent until proven guilty" to "guilty until properly identified." This is not the American so many have sacrificed for. I had thought the Republicans would be more respectful of our heritage.

When the REAL ID passed into law, my first thought was, "The Republicans are betraying us."

I still feel that way.

No comments: