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


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

N.Y. steps forward with Real ID

From Washington Technology:

New York will become the fourth state to implement a hybrid identification card that may be used for border crossings and as a driver’s license complying with upcoming Real ID Act regulations, Secretary Michael Chertoff and Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) announced.

America quietly acquiesces?

Read more here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Comment at the Article "Visit DHS Privacy Web Site -- Please"

Below is a comment I left in the combox for Bob Brewin's good article entitled "Visit DHS Privacy Web Site -- Please."

His article was written for GovernmentExecutive.com

Mr. Brewin discusses a statement made by Hugo Teufel III, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Teufel tries to convince Americans that DHS is concerned about privacy, and that Americans should see the privacy web page at DHS. Brewins rightly concludes:
Somehow, the thought of having to produce a passport to buy a stamp at the post office in my hometown of Las Vegas, N.M., (if New Mexico does not adopt Real ID driver's licenses) does not make me feel more secure, or that DHS really cares about privacy or that top DHS management understands citizens still have a deep distrust of government.
I agree.

I also think someone should inform Mr. Teufel III that the issue is not privacy per se. The issue is freedom, federalism, the 4th Amendment, and our heritage of Freedom.

My comment on Mr. Brewins article is:
The problem I see with national Id/REAL ID is two-fold:

1. If biometrics is used, are we not "booking" innocent people like criminals? And why should we not consider our "biometrics" to be OURS rather than the GOVERNMENT'S? Whose got the power?

2. It is not an ID Card standing alone. It is part of a powerful infrastructure: Card, Reading Machine, Internet, Software, and Codes attached to people. All of this reduces us to living in a software maze of Red Light/Green Light.

The infrastructure will be used to digitally manage more and more of our lives. I believe that one arbitrary rule/regulation will be piled on top of another. Politicians/bureaucrats just can't resist.

This is not freedom.
Read more here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The REAL ID Act: An Update

Jim Harper wrote An Update on the REAL ID Act for the Cato Institute, October 8th.
In just seven short months, states will begin issuing drivers' licenses and identification cards in accordance with federal standards, and they'll begin making their databases of driver information available nationwide. At least, that's how the REAL ID Act would have it.

In fact, it's unlikely that a single state will comply with this national ID law — a whopping unfunded surveillance mandate passed hastily by Congress in May 2005. The Department of Homeland Security asked states to commit to REAL ID or ask for an extension by October 1st, so now is a good time to review where things are with REAL ID, and perhaps see where they're going.

Harper goes on to chronicle the troubled origins and history of the REAL ID Act.

He made an interesting observation by saying:
With a significant number of states committed not to implement the national ID plan, the Congress unwilling to prop it up or fund it, and the DHS yet to issue final regulations, REAL ID is mostly dead. But government contractors and state bureaucrats are still working to build this national ID system, going so far as to train up for REAL ID advocacy using taxpayer funds. At a recent REAL ID conclave in Washington, D.C., DMV bureaucrats sat through panels with titles like, "Bringing Your Public Onboard . . . ."
Americans who treasure the concept of limited government and individual freedom should not "get on board" with REAL ID. We should seek to keep our driver's licenses as driver's licenses--not work licenses, banking licenses, touring-the-Capitol licenses, flying licenses, etc.

If we're not careful, these cards may become Go-to-the-Doctor licenses or Walk-Around-Town licenses... (If the government takes over health-care, just what else would it use to "identify" an eligible patient? Also, the Supreme Court ruled a few years ago that police can ask anyone who they are and what they are doing--and the individual must comply... just for being in public.... This was a change in our tradition of freedom.)

I believe we can be creative enough and vigilant enough to fight terror and deal with illegal immigration without abandoning the concepts of freedom.

Read Harper's article here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Reviving Privacy by Robert Ellis Smith

Robert Ellis Smith wrote an excellent article for Forbes.com.

The article is entitled Reviving Privacy.

Here are a couple of excerpts:
Is there a revival of interest among Americans in protecting personal privacy? I believe that there is, and you can see the signs everywhere....

Since 2001, there has been a maturing of our attitudes towards combating terrorism and protecting civil liberties....

In the fall of 2001, 70% of Americans said they favored a mandatory national ID card. Just a few months later, support had ebbed to 26%, and in later years polls have shown that most Americans aren't so sure that a national ID is a good idea at all.

For Americans (left, center, and right) who care about the Constitution will be encouraged by Smith's commentary.

Smith includes the REAL ID Act in his ruminations.

Please read the entire article here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Who Loves Real ID? AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo Do.

The federal Real ID Act doesn’t have many friends these days. Eighteen states have passed legislation rejecting the law, Congress has refused to put any money into implementing it, and just this week New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer announced he, not the Feds, would determine New York’s drivers license policy, with officials in his administration indicating the state might opt out of the Real ID program altogether.

Read the rest of this article here.