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


Friday, April 27, 2007

Status of Anti-Real ID Legislation in the States

Here is the Jurisdiction Impact Analysis Real ID Act for Tennessee. Here's the one for North Dakota.

If you're interested in where your state stands on REAL ID. Click here for information like the links above.

Also, here is an interesting blog about the issues surrounding REAL ID:
After 35 years of selling your name and personal information in the junk mail industry, I have come to the conclusion that you should have 100% control over this most valuable of possessions. For the last ten years my research has told me this is right, and now I am ready to do something about it. This BLOG is my way of paying back.- Jack Dunning

It is obvious that Mr. Dunning and I live on different political mountains, but the common ground against REAL ID and (legislation like it) makes for interesting times.

I'm conservative: trying to conserve the spirit of the Constitution (including all 10 of the Bill of Rights).

I'm for limited government: Will somebody answer me, "Why are the the Republicans riding herd on big brother legisltation?" I expected this madness to come from "the other side."

I'm for as much personal liberty as possible (combined with old-fashioned morality): To be free, we must be good. (How's that for old-fashioned). This means I'm not for bureaucratic control of individuals. Hasn't that already been tried in history and found wanting?

So, on this issue, I find common cause with more "liberal" people.

Interesting times.
Read a sobering post from Jack Dunning here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

You Can Do Something to Fight REAL ID

1. You can send a message to the Department of Homeland Security.

2. Also, you can read the notice to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. This notice contains information about an upcoming townhall meeting on REAL ID May 1, 2007:
We encourage interested parties to attend the meeting and submit
comments for discussion during the meeting. In addition, we will also seek comments via email for discussion during the meeting from any party who is unable to attend in person. The webcast of the public meeting will be viewable at www.realidtownhall.com.

DATES: Public Meeting: We will hold the meeting on May 1, 2007, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. documents submitted to DHS at the
public meeting, including any comments that were not discussed at the meeting, will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection electronically at www.regulations.gov.

3. Be sure to write you representative and senators.

Don't sit back. Take advantage of your ability to speak out against REAL ID.
Hat tip to Privacy Digest. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Precise Biometrics wins national ID card deal with Portuguese government

Paying attention?

Finextre.com announces that Precise Biometrics wins national ID card deal with Portuguese government.
Precise Biometrics AB (publ), which develops and sells world-leading and user-friendly biometric security solutions based on fingerprints and smart cards, has won an important procurement contract for national ID cards in Portugal.

The consortium is led by the digital security partner Gemalto.

The new so called "Citizen Card" will replace several ID documents and will become the official ID document for all Portuguese citizens. The card will include functions for simple, fast and secure interaction with government administrations, civil identification, tax payment, social security, health, and in the future, elections.

Read more here.

Will America lose its distinctive freedoms and heritage by the pressure of world opinion and biometric companies' lobbying?

The price of freedom is eternal vigiliance.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Fair and Balanced: An Editorial Promoting Real Id

Dave Chase wrote an opinion piece entitled The Constitution Gives Government a Mandate promoting the REAL ID Act in the Lake Sun Leader (Serving Lake of the Ozarks).

His article is subtitled "A view from a Camden County Republican."
I agree that the behemouth of government moves in slow and jerky progress and sometimes even in the wrong direction, but it is trying to fill one of the mandates of the Constitution, to protect our lives and our country from those who really want to kill us or make us embrace their religion.

This is the real threat to the future of our children and grandchildren. Privacy is important in our lives but in times of national emergencies, it is more important that the government have the facts.

Tell all the people blown to bits in Iraq every day that diplomacy is the answer.

Then get our of my way so I can get a National ID card.

Read more here.

I have real problems with Mr. Chase's reasoning on this point because I don't think he's looking down the road far enough. Even though he identifies himself as a Republican, I have questions about his being really conservative.

I encourage anyone interested in seeing both sides of the debate to his article.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The More You Know...#7: Look Around Again

CardTechnology reports that Eurosmart Forecasts 20% Growth In Shipments
The smallest, yet fastest, growing segment of the smart card industry will again be government ID cards and documents, says the vendor group, which projects unit shipments will jump by 56% to 140 million units. Chips and other components for e-passports will increase only modestly to about 30 million units this year, up from about 20 million in 2006, says Seneca. New ID card projects, in such countries as Portugal, Qatar and Morocco, will contribute to growth in the segment, along with ongoing ID card deployments in Belgium, Thailand, Hong Kong, Oman and others. The segment includes chip-based national ID cards, driver’s licenses and health cards. Second-generation health card projects in France and Germany could also add to the growth this year, although they are behind schedule.

And Eurosmart is projecting further out than this year. In a “Vision Paper,” it also released today, the vendor group suggests smart cards and other “smart secure devices” will amount to 20 billion units by 2020.

This assumes by that year there will be 4 billion mobile phones using SIM cards and 4 billion citizens carrying chip-based ID cards, such as national ID cards, driver’s licenses or e-passports. Moreover, it assumes a significant number of consumers will use smart card technology, perhaps embedded in USB tokens, to secure e-commerce, which is rare today. And it predicts smart card technology also will be widely used for “machine-to-machine” communications.
Read more here.
At Pantagraph.com Michael Riopell reports that Illinois House backs repeal of Real ID Act
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House joined a national push Thursday in urging Congress to repeal a federal driver’s license law....

The measure was approved without dissent.
Read more here.

Here is a disturbing post at Enterprise Resilience Management Blog. The author discusses current dialogue about national id cards and biometric social security numbers. The post references an article at the New York Times entitled The Winning Card. Check it out and see how the "Winning Card" is a loser for American ideals.
To insist on secure documents with biometric identifiers is not a call for a national ID. Green cards, temporary work permits and passports are secure and reliable for hiring purposes. Adding Social Security cards to this list, establishing a single standard for their security features, and replacing old cards over a designated period would resolve the problem on a national scale.

Only then would employers be able to comply reliably with verification requirements as the basis for sound enforcement and, by extension, border control. Legal immigrants and American citizens could prove their identities and eligibility to work without facing discrimination based on appearance or language. Scarce enforcement resources could be spent on apprehending real criminals and addressing national security threats. And a new system of enforcement would at last have a chance to win back public confidence in the nation’s immigration policies.

After more than 20 years of failed efforts, Congress must not bake half a loaf. Secure biometric Social Security cards are an essential ingredient in any comprehensive immigration reform.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Olympian: Gov. Gregoire Delays REAL ID

Gov. Gregoire has signed legislation to delay the "real I-D" driver's license until the federal government provides money to implement a national identification card system.

Read about it here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Montana Enacts ‘Declaration of Independence’ From Real ID

Governor Signs Nation’s First Statutory Rejection Of Act
The Montana legislation is a decisive escalation of a growing state rebellion against Real ID:

· Maine and Idaho have both passed resolutions rejecting participation in Real ID, and Arkansas recently passed two similar anti-Real ID measures.

· Binding legislation similar to Montana’s is awaiting the governor’s signature in Washington.

· Thirteen more states have passed anti-Real ID legislation through at least one legislative chamber, and bills have been introduced in 12 additional states.

· In Congress, several bills to fix Real ID have been introduced, including strong proposals by Senators Akaka and Sununu and Congressman Tom Allen.

Read more here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Montana Rejects Real ID Mandate, Joins Rebel Forces

Blog.wired reports that Montana has rejected REAL ID.


The Billings Gazette also reports that Gov signs law rejecting Real ID act (AP)

HELENA - Gov. Brian Schweitzer signed a law Tuesday rejecting national driver's licenses for Montanans, saying the message to the federal government was "no, nope, no way, hell no."

The bill the governor signed rejected implementing the Real ID act in Montana, a federal law that sets a national standard for driver's licenses and requires states to link their record-keeping systems to national databases....

"This is still a free country and there are no freer people than the people that we have in Montana."

Read more here.

The More You Know...#6: Rapid Expansion of Smart Cards in Government Evident as Smart Card Alliance Conference Concludes

Keep reading.
Keep looking around.
Think for yourself.

Advances in biometrics, chip security and cryptography. The technology tracks featured industry panels that addressed the new developments in card management systems, biometrics usage over the contactless chip interface, stronger cryptography standards and the evolving standards for physical security systems to meet the HSPD-12 access security standards. Industry suppliers are making rapid advancements in smart cards and systems to meet new government identity standards, and many of those advances were evident in the technology track presentations and in the accompanying exhibit hall. "The smart card industry is poised for rapid growth over the next two years to meet the aggressive demands for interoperable, standards-based solutions from the public sector," concluded Vanderhoof....

Read more here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Minnesota joins states bucking plan for a national ID--PLUS

By Steve Alexander, Star Tribune reports :
Maine and Idaho already have passed laws opposing participation, and Minnesota is among 25 states that have legislation in the works, according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, based in Arlington, Va. In Missouri, Republican state Rep. James Guest has started a coalition of state legislators in 34 states who oppose the federal plan.

Many states are resisting because REAL ID is an unfunded mandate. I wish more people were resisting because REAL ID is wrong in principle. But such thinking seems rare these days.

Doris Meissner and James Ziglar, New York Times, editorialize that:
After more than 20 years of failed efforts, Congress must not bake half a loaf. Secure biometric Social Security cards are an essential ingredient in any comprehensive immigration reform.
All I can say to Doris and James is that one bad idea (Social Security) deserves another.

Brent Martin, MissouriNet, reports:
Missouri would refuse to participate in the federal government's REAL ID Act under a bill winning overwhelming approval in the House. But a counter-argument has been made as a Senate committee considers the measure.

Rep. Jim Guest (R-King City) sponsors HCR 20 now in the Senate. He sees REAL ID as an invasion of privacy, "We're suppose to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people, not a government to be feared."

His bill passed the House on a vote of 146-to-4.

Jim Harper, Detroit News, says: REAL ID Act Hurts Michigan
If you think going to the Secretary of State's office is a pain now, wait until the REAL ID Act takes effect in May of next year. If Michigan complies, it will be required to overhaul its drivers' licenses to meet strict federal guidelines, creating a de facto national ID card.

Data on every American driver would be entered into a national database. Understandably, many people have privacy concerns about REAL ID. But this is just one reason for Michigan to join the three other states that have already refused to comply with the act.

Here's a related issue: Britain steps closer toward a biometric ID card--
Toward the end of 2009, the United Kingdom hopes to have a national identity card scheme up and running for citizens and residents. The personal information of millions of people will be included in a computer database, along with biometric details such as fingerprints and facial characteristics.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cardtech Securetech showcases great lineup for May 15-17 event

There's always "more to the story."

Issues like REAL ID and National ID Cards don't arise from a vacuum. Sometimes it's good to look around and understand the big picture.

This May, there is a show by CardTech/SecurTech at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Here's some insight about the upcoming event:
Bill Rutledge, CTST program director, projects a 15% increase in attendance over 2006 figures for the SourceMedia Conferences and Exhibitions event.

Why go? "There's a lot going on in security and on the payment side," said Mr. Rutledge. "For people in the payments industry, there's a lot to be aware of. On the security side, the big effort now is on protecting data and managing identity."

A lot of biometrics companies stand to make a lot of money by means of REAL ID and other schemes. (As a result, I'm sure there's a whole lot of lobbying going on.) Here's more on the show in SF:

There will also be half-day sessions, back-to-back, covering biometrics security and the Real ID Act. Sponsored by the International Biometric Group, the biometrics portion will include what the federal government is doing with biometrics, consumer acceptance of biometric technology, and an update on biometric testing and technology. The Real ID portion will cover what some of the states are currently doing to comply with the act, a panel discussion on "obstacles and opportunities" to Real ID Act implementation, and some of the "benefits and challenges" to the Real ID Act. A panel discussion will feature representatives from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, California's DMV, Department of Homeland Security and Digimarc.

Two other daylong sessions in the SecurTech track will cover Healthcare Card Technologies and Strategies and Data and Physical Security Convergence.

I admit to a cynicism concerning ideas to help consumers' "acceptance of biometric technology." It will have to involve a blend of emphasizimg benefits and bending lanuguage (double-speak) to sell the taking of one's most personal information. Once a person is "biometricked," I see no assurance that this will ever be undone.

Our culture has been moving for quite some time toward new methods of payment that are quick, convenient--and raise serious identity issues. These issues become quickly entangled with Constitutional rights when the government gets involved. Also, companies--in pursuit of the big dollar--can be blinded to the consequences of these types of actions.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a pro-freedom, pro-private sector conservative. I'm not against technology. But we always have to work hard to maintain our timeless principles against improper applications of technology.

I believe that REAL ID and National ID Cards are improper applications of technology. Many times freedom is undermined by convenience. (For example, I find myself concerned about criminal minds--not just stealing--but "polluting" one's identity: an identity which is centralized in an impersonal world of digits, microchips, and networks. You think its hard to clean up a credit report now! Individuals are about to be seriously "reduced" and made vulnerable to identity theft, identity alteration, identity "pollution," etc...)

Let's hope that freedom (the old definition thereof) can once again be our central organizing principle. If convenience and/or security takes freedom's place, then we will lose indeed. If security and convenience are "hand maidens" of freedom, we will do well. But we seem to have increasing difficulty in making sound distinctions.

Montana Passes Bill to Reject Real ID Act

Dan Testa recently reported in the New West Missoula that Montana Passes Bill to Reject Real ID Act
he Montana Legislature’s formal rejection of the Federal Real ID act seems poised to go before the governor for signing....
Taking the time to review the new regulations, Wiseman said, would allow Montana a “crystal-clear picture of our position” of non-compliance.

Read more here.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

EPIC Recommends Against Use of Universal Identifiers

THE FOLLOWING COMES FROM EPIC: The Electronic Privacy Information Center

In comments (pdf) to the Federal Trade Commission, EPIC warned against using universal identifiers, such as biometrics, in authentication systems. EPIC explained that a biometric identifier cannot be changed by a victim once his or her identity has been breached -- a fingerprint is unalterable. "Any move toward universal identifiers, while potentially deterring amateur thieves, increases the potential for misuse once determined criminals steal that data," EPIC said. For more information, see EPIC's Biometrics page and National ID Cards and REAL ID Act page. (Mar. 23)

Check out the work that the Electronic Privacy Information Center is doing by clicking here.

New Hampshire Steps Up to the Plate

Norma Love, of the Associated Press, reports from Concord, N.H. that New Hampshire House backs REAL ID ban
CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to reject the federal REAL ID Act, which members said amounted to the creation of a national ID card.

The House voted 268-8 to send the bill to the Senate. The measure would bar the state from complying with the federal act that sets standards for driver's licenses.

Gov. John Lynch has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

"It is probably the worst piece of blackmail to come out of the federal government. This is pure, unadulterated blackmail," said. Rep. Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry.

Last year, New Hampshire led the way in opposing the law — a move now being considered by other states.

"If we are the first state to opt out, so be it," Packard said.


Read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The More You Know...#5: National institute for Biometrics Opened

Let's look across the pond to the United Kingdom and see what's up.
Prominent figures from the biometrics research and technologies sectors met to celebrate the formation of the United Kingdom Biometrics Institute (UKBI).

The centre was initiated by the University of Kent’s Department of Electronics, and supported by Kent Enterprise.

It aims to enhance the productive exchange of knowledge and expertise in the UK across the research community, the biometrics industrial sector and potential end-users; and to provide leading-edge solutions to emerging and future market needs.

With all this talk about the use of biometrics, I hear no one asking, "Whose are we?"

Yes, it is a question of possession. Just whose are we?

The State's? If everyone is forced to be scanned, printed, or chipped with biometric information from our own bodies, I begin to wonder "Who owns whom here?"

Or do we belong to

The Individual? (Ourselves) Are we free citizens with God-given rights recognized by the government or are we reduced to the state's "red light/green light" background checks every time we turn around? Programs like the REAL ID do not maintian themselves between "very narrow" uses.

The freedom of the individual is a concept that is fading fast. I am willing to be a citizen, but slow to be part of a great biometric collective.

Right now the use of biometrics is left up to each of our 50 states. I have made it clear to my representatives (who don't seem to be listening), that I oppose biometrics as much as I oppose the use of a national identification card. But I don't see us having one without the other for very long.

So I wonder...

Has "group think" won the day?

Is freedom no longer a central, organizing principle?

Or has it become a thing of the past?

I think so.

We don't have to do anything stupid.

Because we "can" does not mean we "should."

Did not America become something special when we quit acting like Europe?

Read more here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Lawmakers decry federal Real ID Act as move to usurp state's power

Matt Gouras of the Associated Press wrote Lawmakers decry federal Real ID Act as move to usurp state's power.

Montana lawmakers have nearly unanimously called the federal Real ID Act of 2005 an attempt by the federal government to usurp power from state governments. They say it threatens an individual's right to privacy, which is guaranteed by the Montana Constitution.
"I think this is a good idea to let the federal government know we are unhappy with what they are doing," said State Sen. Jerry O'Neil, R-Kalispell.

Let's hope more and more states have the collective courage to stand up for individuals' freedom.

Read more here.

Monday, April 2, 2007

The More You Know...#4

Wash. to pilot biometric card:
Project with DHS to test license that could meet Real ID and passport card standards

Wilson P. Dizard III of Government Computer News has posted an article about Washington state's plan to pilot the REAL ID Card.
The debate over biometric credentials has moved into new territory now that Washington state and the Homeland Security Department have agreed to pilot a secure biometric driver’s license that also would serve as proof of citizenship at border crossings....

The pilot would create a license that is compliant with the controversial Real ID program and could be used as a passport in some situations.

State and federal lawmakers, as well as the National Governors Association, have blasted the federal Real ID program, which is aimed at fostering secure biometric driver’s licenses that also would serve as proof of citizenship or legal residence. Various states have threatened to opt out of the supposedly voluntary Real ID program, and Maine and Idaho have done so.

There's a lot of information in this article about the REAL ID Act and the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative):

Beginning in January 2008, WHTI rules will require that returning citizens show secure biometric credentials at the land borders, ending a longstanding practice under which immigration officials accepted as many as 8,000 different types of documents or, in some cases, no ID at all.

That pending WHTI requirement has prompted outcries from border state lawmakers who charge that it will be a costly burden on their constituents and hamper travel and trade.

The U.S.'s determination to track its citizens is evident in various aspects of American life.

Check out the article here.

The More You Know...#3

What's going on in the world if identification and business?

Is there anything we can learn from what people are thinking?

Check out this article about IBM in the Burlington Free Press. The article is dated today.

IBM is starting a "new endeavor" at its Essex Junction facility and plans to produce electronic passport inlays and electronic identification cards this year, the company said Friday....

"It fits well with our business because there is a way to blend our chip technology capability with this capability for electronic cards," Couture said.

Passports, "smart-cards" or any other types of identification cards potentially could be produced with a microchip embedded in them to store information securely, he said.

They also have the capability to track where the document or card is through radio frequency identification, or RFID, he said.

"It can be used to store information. It can be used to track. I don't know how they are using these in each country," Couture said. "The technology is there to do any of that."

The more you know....

Read the entire article here. It is written by Dan McLean, Free Press Staff Writer