T Nation

Federal ID Plan


Federal ID plan raises privacy concerns

By Eliott C. McLaughlin
i -- Americans may need passports to board domestic flights or to picnic in a national park next year if they live in one of the states defying the federal Real ID Act.

The act, signed in 2005 as part of an emergency military spending and tsunami relief bill, aims to weave driver's licenses and state ID cards into a sort of national identification system by May 2008. The law sets baseline criteria for how driver's licenses will be issued and what information they must contain.[/i]


Besides the exorbitant cost of such project (think billions), other governments are almost certain to replicate this and say "look, even the US is doing". I'm saying "even" because traditionally, the United States has one of the freest countries on earth.

I'm guessing that if Rudy gets into the White House, all this will seem almost benign compared to what damage he can do to the American constitution.

Where do you stand on the ID issue?


Unequivocally against it.

Why doesn't the federal government just tattoo a fucking bar code on my forehead so the cops can scan it.

Hopefully the states unite against this one.


I have been against it since it hit the press. But I guess since it is impossible for terrorists to get federal IDs, it will make us all so much safer.


Name, rank and serial number.


I have been against this since its sneaky inception. This is horribly wrong on so many more levels than I would care to even begin to explain. That ID card WILL eventually have some sort of RFID. Those that refuse to comply are patriots in my book. Eventually it will become impossible to vote, buy a gun, or any other variety of necessary actions of a healthy republic without one of those infernal things. I'm glad to see several states fight this, but if the Feds push the issue, cowardly Americans will get in line and get theirs.



Lets all skip down the road to socialism. Every citizen in Communist Russia had this requirement.

"Let me see your papers" was the KGB welcome.


When you have to provide your Federal ID card, be sure to thank a terrorist.

The ME muslims do not realize what a can of worms they are opening: Imagine a country with the resources of the United States of America, with an outright fascist dictatorship in place. The fascist dictatorship won't give a rat's ass about public perception of its actions. They'll have weapons of which we can't even conceive.

If the muslims were intelligent, they'd try to keep the USA a liberal democracy that has to answer to soccer mom voters. Bombings and calling us the Great Satan mitigate that.

Fucking shortsighted idiots.


It isn't voting or buying a gun that will convince people to do it.

It is driving. The states that support this will be integrating it with their existing driver's licenses. For most of us, we absolutely have to have a license to be able to work.

Headhunter: as much as you hate the idea of public transportation, it does provide some measure of anonymity in your comings and goings, and doesn't require government approval for travel.


We have social security numbers that link us to everything we do. If you file a tax return you have one. If you want to claim a dependent, they have to have one as well.

Every state requires a photo ID DL.

Where was the outrage over these?

Don't get me wrong - I hate the idea of a national ID card, but to blame terrorism, or to think this is about hysteria...well...

People don't want an ID card, but some of those on here posting the evils of it are the same folks lined up in support of free health care. You don't want the feds to take you picture, but you are willing to give them your entire medical history?

It just doesn't add up. A little bit of consistency would be nice.


Some guys here always complain:
"All we hear is America this, America that. Why does everyone has to bash America in the Politics Forum?"

Well, perhaps discussing events unrelated to the bestest Land seem frivolous to you?

When I posted about Shenzhen and their new IDs, which keep track just about everything (telephone number, your children, your landlord's address, your criminal record, insurance, education etc.) and acts as a RFID beacon in a city with 200 000 centrally managed cameras, nobody makes a fuss about it.


I'm guessing that your medical history wouldn't be something you'd be presenting to officials on a regular basis... unless you needed a lot of medical care.

In other words, the type of abuse theoretically available to the government differs between the two.


There was outrage over social security numbers - the federal government swore at the time that the numbers would never be used for identification purposes. Up until the 1980s, the cards even had that printed on them. Obviously that wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.

I have no problem with a photo ID DL for purposes of identifying who is or is not authorized to wield a motor vehicle. I have a problem when state or federal laws require that I carry identification at all times, even when not driving.

I have a problem with having a national ID to which all my records can be associated, and which makes it easier for criminals to do nasty things with my information.

You're absolutely right... this has been in the works for years. Congress had just been waiting for the opportunity to put it into some must-pass measure, covertly. What a bunch of cowards.

Again, absolutely right. Giving the federal government more power over your life is giving the federal government more power over your life.


Don't they have cameras in those things? Then, combine that with facial recognition technology.

Isn't it sad that every human invention has to be abused some how? Seems like anything that gets invented eventually is used for evil. Invent an airplane and soon someone is bombing Rotterdam or similar. Sad indeed.


How? The only difference is ease of access. If you are in the system, you are in the system.

How is the abuse different? You don't think they will attach everything they can find out about you to your medical charts?

You are very naive, or are too easily won over by free blood pressure check-ups.


At least you can wear a fake mustache and nose.


It is not hysteria over the terrorists. Things like this are the natural expansion of federal powers that every government wants, that all people in power want.

Same thing with the cameras in the streets, sections of the PATRIOT Act, etc. They know that they don't need to know the books you read, but if they can slip it by you then they're going to try.

This is no different. RJ, the potential for mismanagement and severe abuse are much larger here. This is dangerous.


For fuck sakes, I'm not talking about the database side of the issue, we've already lost there.

I'm talking about eventually having to carry and present papers all the time. This ability to ascertain who you are at all times while attaching that to your database is a bigger issue than just being an anonymous person.

It's all about the connection and how easy and how often it is linked.


I think the national ID card is a good way to tell legal Americans from illegal immigrant Canadians. At least can tell the difference between Mexicans and Canadians. Yellow skinned people watch out.


Tried that in Vegas. They still kicked me out for card counting, the bastards. That facial recognition system is all-powerful and all-knowing.