Followers of REAL ID know that delaying implementation helps a national ID go forward by giving the companies and organizations that sustain themselves on these kinds of projects time to shake the federal money tree and get this $11 billion surveillance mandate funded.
According to a statement released today by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), states will now have until December 31, 2009 to implement the regulations of the Real ID act.
The Real ID Act implements security features to drivers and identification cards. These standards must be met to allow the card holder to board planes, enter federal buildings and nuclear power plants. States that receive extensions will have to submit proposed timetables for compliance. The regulations include:
Security features that must be incorporated into each card
Verification of information provided by applicants to establish their identity and lawful status in the United States
Physical security standards for locations where licenses and identification cards are issued.
Homeland Security offers details on Real ID
• The Real ID cards must include all drivers' home addresses and other personal information printed on the front and in a two-dimensional barcode on the back. The barcode will not be encrypted because of "operational complexity," which means that businesses like bars and banks that require ID would be capable of scanning and recording customers' home addresses.
• A radio frequency identification (RFID) tag is under consideration. Homeland Security is asking for input on how the licenses could incorporate "RFID-enabled vicinity chip technology, in addition to" the two-dimensional barcode requirement.
• States must submit a plan of how they'll comply with the Real ID Act by October 7, 2007. If they don't, their residents will not be able to use IDs to board planes or enter federal buildings starting on May 11, 2008.
• Homeland Security is considering standardizing a "unique design or color for Real ID licenses," which would effectively create a uniform national ID card.
Thursday's draft regulations arrive amid a groundswell of opposition to the Real ID Act from privacy groups, libertarians and state officials. On Wednesday, the National Governors Association endorsed a bill by Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, that would reduce Homeland Security's power to order states to comply with the law.
ACLU speaks out against Collins' Real ID amendment
The ACLU is speaking out against Susan Collins' amendment to the Real ID act, saying she's not addressing her constituents as Maine has passed an amendment against the Real ID act.