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


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Administration Set to Use New Spy Program in U.S.

A Washingtonpost.com story reports:
The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation's most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea's legal authority.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department will activate his department's new domestic satellite surveillance office in stages, starting as soon as possible with traditional scientific and homeland security activities -- such as tracking hurricane damage, monitoring climate change and creating terrain maps.

Sophisticated overhead sensor data will be used for law enforcement once privacy and civil rights concerns are resolved, he said. The department has previously said the program will not intercept communications.

"There is no basis to suggest that this process is in any way insufficient to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans," Chertoff wrote to Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and Jane Harman (D-Calif.), chairmen of the House Homeland Security Committee and its intelligence subcommittee, respectively, in letters released yesterday.
The reason Mr. Chertoff can say things like this is that DHS--led by Republicans--has abandoned any thought whatsoever about our Constitutional heritage of freedom.

People who cannot see the massive increase in government desire, capability, and will to abandon any vestiges of freedom need to be jolted from their stupor. REAL ID is just one expression of this trend.

The Republicans have lost their minds.

Where are conservatives to go?

HT: Drudge

Monday, April 7, 2008

A "Must Read" Post by Jim Harper on REAL ID

Jim Harper posted "Some Myth-Busting Is Quite Revealing"
After DHS Secretary Chertoff’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week (at which he was apparently rebuked for “bullying” states on REAL ID compliance) he sat down with a group of bloggers to discuss things.
Harper gives Secretary Chertoff points for making himself available for discussion but goes on to reveal why--in spite of DHS's "myth-busting"--REAL ID is still a problem for American-style freedom.
It is very hard to design information technology systems that do not collect and retain information. The current secretary’s personal opinion about databases just isn’t good evidence of whether or not there will be databases of information about the comings and goings of law-abiding Americans. Chances are very good if REAL ID is implemented that there will be.
My only thought is, "There's no chance about it. There will be."

For the "why's" and "wherefore's" of Jim's helpful insights, read more here.

Also, check out "Chertoff’s Defense of REAL ID is “Dead Wrong.”"

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Eagle Forum Seems Confused about Freedom and REAL ID

In 1998, the Eagle Forum posted Liberty vs. Totalitarianism, Clinton-Style: Monitoring by I.D. and Database. The article rightly said:
Two of the principal mechanisms by which the rulers of 20th century police states maintained their control over their people were the file and the internal passport....

Unknown to most Americans, coordinated plans are well underway to give the Federal Government the power to input personal information on all Americans onto a government database. The computer will record our school, business, medical, financial, and personal activities, and track our movements as we travel about the United States.

These plans were authorized by the so-called conservative Congress and are eagerly implemented and expanded by the Clinton Administration liberals.

The law orders "consultation" with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. AAMVA, a pseudo-private, quasi-government organization, has long urged using driver's licenses, with Social Security numbers and digital fingerprinting, as a de facto national I.D. card that would enable the government to track everyone's movements throughout North America.
That was 1998.

The striking--and confusing--point is that Phyllis Schlafly supports the REAL ID Act. The REAL ID Act may not contain all the measures the frightening legislation of 1998 had (REAL ID is "optional" to carry--optional, but required if you want to live and function in the U.S. Nor does it--as yet--require biometrics...), but REAL ID is very much the kind of scheme that was proposed in 1998!

1. REAL ID networks all 50 state databases into one. Technically, this is "not a national database." But networking makes such a technicality meaningless. It is one network government can access through a computer. To say this is not a national database is serious confusion.

2. REAL ID requires "machine readable technology." The REAL ID cards can be scanned anywhere, anytime by the government for identification purposes. Sound American? DHS Secretary Chertoff has said that REAL ID can be used for "countless other activities." Sound minimal?

3. REAL ID effectively turns the driver's license into an internal passport for flying, banking, working, and soon to be for "countless other activities."--as Mr. Chertoff has said.

4. REAL ID is a power-play where Washington forces states to do its job and bidding. Sound Constitutional?

In all of this, the Eagle Forum sounds really confusing. Phyllis Schlafly wrote in 2005:
The open-borders lobby is crying that the REAL ID Act would give us a national ID card, something that sounds un-American. The truth is that requiring the states to stop issuing driver's licenses to illegals is the best way to prevent the demand for a national ID card, which might prove irresistible if we suffer another terrorist attack on our own soil.
As stated above, REAL ID does a lot more than force us to stop giving driver's licenses to illegal aliens. It sets up a massive system for future regulation. It is indeed a national id card.

1. REAL ID has requirements demanded by the NATIONAL government.

2. REAL ID is for the purpose of IDENTIFICATION.

3. REAL ID is on a CARD.

1+2+3= National ID Card. (Nobody has refuted this.)

Phyllis Schlafly essentially promotes in 2005 what Eagle Forum resisted in 1998.

There's not enough difference to resist one and support the other.

Let's fight terrorism.
Let's stop illegal immigration.

But lets not make a National ID Card to do it.
Let's not quit being America in order to save America.

And, conservatives, let's not quit being conservative.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

California deems REAL ID Act unnecessary

Theresa Wray reports:
Mike Marando, Deputy Director of Communications at California DMV, said that the state is already using holograms, fingerprinting and other security protections. The extra effort to work within the federal system and with other states would present an unnecessary burden.
We should have a debate on who owns the biometrics of individuals: the individuals or the government? How one answers this question reveals how one thinks about government and freedom. Sounds like California disregards REAL ID for all the wrong reasons...

And here is an excellent example of a bureaucrat's ability to contradict one's self in the same sentence (emphasis mine):
REAL ID does not establish a national database for storing information, according to Kudwa [spokesperson for the DHS Office of Public Affairs]. It will provide a central location that will drive a state's query to other state's databases, the immigration database and other agencies to verify information before a license is approved.
Surely the reader can see the problem "on the face of it."

So, DHS likes to say that there is not a national database.

So what?

It is a national network that connects the databases into one--and the results are the same!

DHS also likes to say that REAL ID is not a national id card.

Yet, REAL ID is demanded by the national government, for identification at the national level--banking, federal buildings, and flying... in addition to "countless other activities," according to Mr. Chertoff....

And it is all put on a card.

Sounds amazingly close to a national id card...

The Lesson?

Beware of bureaucrat's speaking...

Read more here.