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Real ID: You Can Still Fight It 1040

Posted by Hemos
from the fight-the-man dept.
toupsz writes "Bill Scannell has created a website where anyone and everyone can fax their senators regarding the Real ID Act. Note that the act is up for vote on Tuesday, May 10th! All those against the Act might want to go to Bill's site: UnrealID.com. Thanks, Cory from BoingBoing!"
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Real ID: You Can Still Fight It

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  • What's so bad? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:26PM (#12478271)
    I mean seriously, what is so bad? Is everyone really buying into that Big Brother Crap where the government is going to know everywhere we go and shiat?

    Most European Countries use ID's like this already.
    • Re:What's so bad? (Score:5, Informative)

      by uqbar (102695) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:29PM (#12478307)
      Bruce Schneier (as usual) has good insights [schneier.com] on this.

      • Re:What's so bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by null etc. (524767) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:34PM (#12478384)
        REAL ID also prohibits states from issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens. This makes no sense, and will only result in these illegal aliens driving without licenses -- which isn't going to help anyone's security.

        Yeah, that's some REAL good insight.

        • Re:What's so bad? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by waynelorentz (662271) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:47PM (#12478540) Homepage
          EAL ID also prohibits states from issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens. This makes no sense, and will only result in these illegal aliens driving without licenses -- which isn't going to help anyone's security.

          It happens already. I got hit head-on on a one-way street by an illegal alien driving a stolen van with no license and no insurance in Houston, Texas. Fortunately, a cop was driving right behind me. Unfortunately, the cop let her go because she is illegal. At the time (March 2003, I don't know if it's still true), the police were under orders from city council not to arrest illegal aliens unless they do something like murder, rob, or rape. It was part of then-mayor Lee Brown's plan to make Houston a safe haven for illegals so he could boost census numbers and bring in more money from the federal government. Since the city signs the cops paychecks, not the federal government, they do what council wants, not what the law is -- and that means letting people who have broken the law go free. I'm so glad I moved to the north.
          • Re:What's so bad? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by CodeBuster (516420)
            Populist policies, which are exploited by politicians such as the aforementioned mayor, are common in South America and Mexico and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the end result of those policies. The problem is that selective enforcement of laws for political purposes breeds contempt for all laws which leads to rampant government corruption, citizen vigilantism, and, in the most extreme cases, armed rebellions. If the states are not enforcing federal laws then the federal government needs to step
          • by symbolic (11752) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:15PM (#12479497)

            What if these so-called illegals aren't stupid enough to apply for a state ID or driver's license? What then? [That sensation that your soul is being pierced is from the blank stare you'll get when you ask any politician for an honest answer to this question.]

            Obviously, the guy wants to cut down on the potential terrorist threat. But who in HELL says that a terrorist needs a driver's license? Or a state ID?

            So who suffers? The criminals and terrorsts? Hell no- they'll just route around it. That leaves only one other class...the vast, vast majority of people who are neither terrorists nor criminals.
        • by pilgrim23 (716938) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:16PM (#12478879)
          Another REAL product? Will this ID included embeded Spyware an Adware like all their other products?
      • Re:What's so bad? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrStrange66 (654036)
        Sounds to me that paranoia is what drives this "REAL" guy. One of the points he makes is about the magnetic strip on the id making it easy to sell info to companies without authorization. I'm not a lawyer but that sounds illegal. That's beside the point. My driver's license already has a magnetic strip and I have had it scanned on a few occasions without consequence. This card makes it more difficult for illegal aliens and terrorists. Seems like a good idea to me.
      • Re:What's so bad? (Score:5, Informative)

        by discordja (612393) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:52PM (#12478614)
        REAL ID also prohibits states from issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens. This makes no sense, and will only result in these illegal aliens driving without licenses -- which isn't going to help anyone's security.
        Wrong, it means they can't issue a drivers licence that has any value as an ID card. For example, in TN, there are two forms of licenses available. One that can be issued to undocs that states clearly 'For Driving Only' and is not a valid ID for airports etc. This does not limit whom the states may give a drivers license to but it does limit the value of that license if it does not meet certain minimum standards.
    • Re:What's so bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stlhawkeye (868951) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:29PM (#12478308) Homepage Journal
      I mean seriously, what is so bad? Is everyone really buying into that Big Brother Crap where the government is going to know everywhere we go and shiat?

      I don't care about the Big Brother side, I care about the part where our officials are enacting pointless legislation that won't solve anything but will create a whole new department of bureaucracy that you and I get to pay for. Hell no.

      • Reasoning (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Perl-Pusher (555592) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:49PM (#12478564)
        This law is an attempt to stop the flow of illegal aliens. To stop organizations such as MS-13 [msn.com] and of course these guys [terrorismfiles.org]

        I would like to see more enforcement along the borders. Both of them. But one positive benefit will be that illegal immigrants won't be taken advantage of by heartless money grubbers who could afford to pay a decent wage if they wanted too. [walmart.com]

        Most of those crossing the border are just looking to better themselves and their families. We need a legal way to help those who want "the American Dream" and kick those listed above out.

    • Re:What's so bad? (Score:5, Informative)

      by intnsred (199771) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:44PM (#12478493) Homepage
      I'll ignore the fact that this law blatantly violates the 10th Amendment, and will instead cite this CNet article by someone who knows far more about the law than I do:

      How Real ID will affect you
      By Declan McCullagh [com.com]

      What's all the fuss with the Real ID Act about?

      President Bush is expected to sign an $82 billion military spending bill soon that will, in part, create electronically readable, federally approved ID cards for Americans. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the package--which includes the Real ID Act--on Thursday.

      What does that mean for me?

      Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards. News.context

      What's new:

      The House of Representatives has approved an $82 billion military spending bill with an attachment that would mandate electronically readable ID cards for Americans. President Bush is expected to sign the bill.

      Bottom line:

      The Real ID Act would establish what amounts to a national identity card. State drivers' licenses and other such documents would have to meet federal ID standards established by the Department of Homeland Security.

      More stories on this topic

      The Real ID Act hands the Department of Homeland Security the power to set these standards and determine whether state drivers' licenses and other ID cards pass muster. Only ID cards approved by Homeland Security can be accepted "for any official purpose" by the feds.

      How will I get one of these new ID cards?

      You'll still get one through your state motor vehicle agency, and it will likely take the place of your drivers' license. But the identification process will be more rigorous.

      For instance, you'll need to bring a "photo identity document," document your birth date and address, and show that your Social Security number is what you had claimed it to be. U.S. citizens will have to prove that status, and foreigners will have to show a valid visa.

      State DMVs will have to verify that these identity documents are legitimate, digitize them and store them permanently. In addition, Social Security numbers must be verified with the Social Security Administration.

      What's going to be stored on this ID card?

      At a minimum: name, birth date, sex, ID number, a digital photograph, address, and a "common machine-readable technology" that Homeland Security will decide on. The card must also sport "physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes."

      Homeland Security is permitted to add additional requirements--such as a fingerprint or retinal scan--on top of those. We won't know for a while what these additional requirements will be.

      Why did these ID requirements get attached to an "emergency" military spending bill? Because it's difficult for politicians to vote against money that will go to the troops in Iraq and tsunami relief. The funds cover ammunition, weapons, tracked combat vehicles, aircraft, troop housing, death benefits, and so on.

      The House already approved a standalone version of the Real ID Act in February, but by a relatively close margin of 261-161. It was expected to run into some trouble in the Senate. Now that it's part of an Iraq spending bill, senators won't want to vote against it.

      What's the justification for this legislation anyway?

      Its supporters say that the Real ID Act is necessary to hinder terrorists, and to follow the ID card recommendations that the 9/11 Commission made last year.

      It will "hamper the ability of terrorist and criminal aliens to move freely throughout our socie
      • Re:What's so bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:50PM (#12479249)
        "Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service."

        How is this substantially different from the situation today, where I need to present a state-issued driver's license and/or a federally-issued Social Security number in order to do any of those things?

        I'm sure there are some pretty nefarious riders attached to this bill, since that's the case with almost all legislation. But the basic concept of a national ID card is not anything that I have any objection to.
    • Big Brother is BAD (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:40PM (#12479143) Homepage Journal
      Most European countries are analogous to US states, not to the entire US. And most European countries learned from their 20th Century fascist disasters just how dangerous is the centralized control of identity. So European privacy laws, and government operations, aren't a tinderbox of identity theft and covert surveillance risks. The US, on the other hand, is swarming with powermad bureaucrats, and their corporate backers, doing whatever they can to turn the $2.5T Federal government's eyes on our citizens, on the hollow pretext of "protecting us" from terrorists.

      For more information, look into the MATRIX [google.com] and TIA [google.com] programs, their connections [google.com] to identity leakers like ChoicePoint, and the seriously real threat all this Big Brother "crap" poses to Americans.
  • Stll (Score:3, Insightful)

    by adamjaskie (310474) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:27PM (#12478276) Homepage
    Typos in the headlines. What are editors for, again?
  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:27PM (#12478278) Homepage Journal
    This will swing the deal, because nothing -- and I mean nothing -- persuades Senators faster than a room full of bulk faxes, all sent from the same website and all basically the same!

    Sheesshh.

    How can so mainly nominally smart people be so dumb about how best to influence the democratic process.
    • by The Angry Mick (632931) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:45PM (#12478498) Homepage
      nothing...persuades Senators faster than a room full of bulk faxes

      Everybody knows its rooms full of cash that count.

    • Well, it works for the FCC. They get a few hundred emails/faxes from the same family group, and suddenly I can't listen to Howard make dick and fart jokes, all radio shows are on a delay, and live TV only comes through with a censor on the hot button.

      Moral of the story:

      The vocal minority often rule. The silent majority are the ones who take it in the kiester. Sites like this are often seen in the wrong light. It serves as an easy way to get people to take an active part in government, and to have a say (even if it is miniscule) in largers issues that may end up affecting the way they live.

      I sent a fax, did you?
  • by PaxTech (103481) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:28PM (#12478286) Homepage
    Bruce Schneier's weblog [schneier.com] has some thoughts on RealID and why it's a terrible idea and won't increase security. Highly recommended.
  • by HighOrbit (631451) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:30PM (#12478315)
    Of course this is slashdot and we are supposed to think alike and reflexively be against anything the government does in the security arena. But I *really do* want to know that the person boarding the airplane with me is who they say they are and not on an expired visa with a fraudulantly obtained ID (like the 9-11 hijackers on expired visas with fraudulantly obtained Virginia driver licences). I *really do* want the government (all of it including state and local subdivisions) to enforce immigration laws and to know if somebody's visa is expired.
    So thank you for the information, I will call/fax my senator to let him know that I want him to vote in favor of Real ID.
    • by Y2 (733949) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:36PM (#12478412)
      But I *really do* want to know that the person boarding the airplane with me is who they say they are and not on an expired visa with a fraudulantly obtained ID

      I, on the other hand, don't give a flying expletive who they are or what their visa status is, as long as they don't have a weapon.

      (It would be a distinct bonus to know that they also don't have a communicable disease!)

      So thank you for the information, I will call/fax my senator to let him know that I want him to vote in favor of Real ID.

      You've satisfied yourself that Yet Another ID card won't be issued and obtained fraudulently? To paraphrase the patron saint [starwars.com] of the current administration, "I find your excess of faith disturbing."

    • First, (Score:5, Insightful)

      by isotope23 (210590) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:00PM (#12478715) Homepage Journal
      I don't give a shit if the guy in the seat next to me claims to be bobo the dog-faced boy. What I do care about is that he does not have a weapon, and cannot get into the fricking cockpit. A National ID does not stop that from happening.

      It will also not stop another Timothy McVeigh, who as far as I understand was never busted for anything prior.

      What it will do is create more red tape, and the perception that government is doing SOMETHING so it must be making us safer. It will probably INCREASE terrorism as well. Why?

      Because as the government continues to push more draconian laws, they will begin to piss "patriots" here in this country off. It may very well create a positive feedback loop.

      I value what little privacy I have remaining, and I should not have to carry a piece of plastic just to fricking travel.....

      If we were serious about stopping terrorism, we would stop playing world policeman. The arrogance of my fellow countrymen just amazes me sometimes. It's as though americans believe we have a god given right to intervene around the world if we don't like a certain government, etc.

      The Republic is Dead. Long Live the Empire...
      • by wcdw (179126) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:02PM (#12479374) Homepage
        I value what little privacy I have remaining, and I should not have to carry a piece of plastic just to fricking travel.....

        Personally, I carry a big piece of plastic wherever I travel, because I value my freedom.

        Of course, in this case, my plastic was manufactured by the likes of Mr. Glock.
  • Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:30PM (#12478318) Journal
    The arguments in the "What is RealID [unrealid.com]" section are ludicrous.

    Linking together databases is not spying. Just because China and Vietnam have national IDs doesn't make it a bad idea. A lot of people, after passing the driver license test, still can't drive properly. What's that got to do with illegal immigrants and national IDs?

    To me, it sounded like it was written by the guys that wrote about peak oil and the 911 conspiracies.
  • Worldwide (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Exitar (809068) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:31PM (#12478328)
    You can find a lot of nations that have unique ID but not capital punishment, weapons in every house and don't make war every 10 years. Uh, and they have a working social security too!
    • Re:Worldwide (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:09PM (#12478803)
      What's wrong with capital punishment and ownership of weapons by the law-abiding public? ("Weapons in every house" is a pretty serious overstatement, unless you count kitchen knives). The latter is pretty damned near necessary in the rural regions, anyhow; I have friends (in rural Texas) who literally have alligators and water snakes in their back yards.

      Getting back to topic, a National ID is just one more step away from a group of independent states who are members of a federation with strictly limited powers, and one more step towards a strong central government which flaunts the document supposedly limiting its extent. Look: You out in the rest of the world don't like the US federal government getting too much power, especially when it's mismanaged as badly as it is. Us here in the US don't like our Federal government taking too much power, either, when that power would better be left closer to home where we have more influence -- in our state governments.
  • by Jurph (16396) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:33PM (#12478354)
    and cuss him out for not reading it, you might want to read the text of it [congress.gov] yourself. You know, just maybe. Democracy requires an informed populace to work, and if you believe the partisan propaganda in the headline of a Slashdot story, how are you any better than a Republican senator who buys the partisan propaganda of the bill's author?
    • No no no no no! Shut up! Shut up! Republican bad! Conservative bad! Bush bad! Thok not like it! Thok think Bush bad! Thok hate read id card! Thok know it wrong! All idea from Republican bad and not work! Me know! It what other people say who Thok think smart!

      I actually don't oppose the Read ID on the grounds that it's invading my privacy or anything, but that I don't think it'll help much and it's going to cost a lot.

    • Check out Section 102, which allows the Secretary of Homeland Security "the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section." It also prevents any oversight or judicial review of those actions.

      I always wanted to be above the law. Now, to become Secretary of Homeland Security...
      • I thought you were kidding, then I actually read the thing. It's true. If this passes, the secretary will get to waive any and all laws as long as it is in the service of keeping illegal entrants outside of the US borders, and is excused from judicial review in any such decision he or she makes.

        That is scary stuff. If not for the actual consequences, then for the precedent of waiving the entire body of law, and judicial review, at the sole discretion of a single person in government.
  • Nothing he can do (Score:4, Informative)

    by discordja (612393) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:48PM (#12478548)
    At this point there is nothing that can stop the passage of REAL ID short of a line item veto when it reaches the presidents desk .. and that's simply not going to happen.

    It's part of the spending bill, which just so happens to be a war bill, and was passed by some 350-50 margin in the house. If you think the Senate is gonna vote an 80 billion spending bill down you need your head examined.

    Bush will sign this into law even tho he doesn't want to, because if he doesn't, he'll never get anything through the Judicial committee. Sensenbrenner pretty much drew a line in the sand after the Pres promished him last November that he would get the opportunity to bring it to the floor after effectively demanding it be removed from the 9/11 bill. In some ways, the white house hopes to use this to leverage the immigration reform Bush has talked about twice.
  • by cyberlotnet (182742) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:48PM (#12478555) Homepage Journal
    What we need to do is change the reason this is happening.

    This bill got slammed before, The ONLY reason it is going to make it into law ( and it will make it ) is because its attached to a huge military spending bill.

    Neither side at this point wants to hamper our military by killing this bill so this law will pass no matter what you do ( ok maybe thats being over dramatic but its pretty close to true )

    What can we do that would prevent this and half the other useless laws that get passed each year?

    We need to voice our opinion against unrelated laws being piggy-backed together to get things past the general public and congress.

    It should not be possible to have 2 laws totally unrelated in the same action!!! Congress should not be able to attach a law banning you from eating hotdogs to a law funding the federal goverment.

    Its biases, deceptive but in todays congress a very common practice..

    "Hey you, yea you republican, Yea if you get your people to vote for this democratic bill giving us all raises, we will let you piggy-back that important bill we vetoed last year to ban those evil hotdogs you hate so much, You know I rub your back you rub mine?"
  • by gonar (78767) <sparkalicious.verizon@net> on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:53PM (#12478630) Homepage
    When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere.

    -From the Notebook of Lazarus Long

  • If I'm looking a the right Senate bill, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005 [loc.gov], it appears that the offending Real ID Act portion has been removed [loc.gov].
  • Peeing in the wind (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:54PM (#12478639)
    No Senator/Congressperson is oging to vote against an implied national security bill. No Senator/Congressperson is going to hold up a military spending bill that seeks to get body armor to soldiers in Iraq.

    Sorry, but thats as simple as it can be put.

  • by antispam_ben (591349) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:54PM (#12478643) Journal
    This is the Information Age more than ever before, and any good (in the sense of being competent) entity (commercial, Government, or private investigator) can find out everything pertinent about you with any ONE identifying piece of info: name, phone number, address, where you work, SSN, car tag, etc. In some cases it may be illegal for a Government entity to do this, but I'm sure we can trust all Government entities to follow the law, can't we? [insert appropriate emoticon here]

    A national ID card won't violate anything that's not already being violated, it will just be a public admission of what's already being done. Perhaps it would be a Good Thing to have it, that way everyone would have a clue as to what has happened to their financial and legal identity - that it's owned by themselves, but by the owners of commercial and government databases.

    "Papers? We don't need no stinking papers!" "We have The Technology."

    I'd post as Anonymous Coward but I'm sure /. saves the IP address of each post anyway.
  • by Jakewk (66712) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:02PM (#12478734)
    Section 203 of the bill requires the linking of motor vehicle databases including all moving violations.
    Remember the days of speeding through Wyoming or Texas, paying the fine right there when you got caught and not having to report it back on your home state insurance?
    Well, those days are over.
  • by hikerhat (678157) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:06PM (#12478769)
    That UnRealID site is the worst I've seen in a long time.
    • First, any site with a Matrix fetish loses all credibility.
    • Second, clearly the site is designed to spread FUD. The fake image of the "Real ID" card indicates that the card will contain information such as Religion and Occupation. It will not. Read the bill. FUD.
    • The site says cops will die. Right. Because when cops are working under-cover they will be carrying their real ID cards. Just like today, when under-cover cops are required to carry their badge and drivers license. Oh, wait, no they aren't. FUD.
    • "every convenience store learns to grab that data and sell it to Big Data for a nickel" Right. Because every time I got to the convenience store I have to present my license. Oh, wait, no I don't. FUD.
    Anyway, the site goes on with a bunch of rambling, random conspiracy nonsense (We'll turn into a communist state! Oh no! The highways will run red with blood!). There may be good reasons not to support this bill, but this web site doesn't give you any.

    Read the bill yourself [loc.gov]. Don't trust this unreal.com guy.

    After you decide if you want to support the bill or not, contact your senator through www.senate.gov [senate.gov].

    • by Jtheletter (686279) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:16PM (#12479512)
      I agree with you the site is rather uninformative and alarmist, and it also comes across as slightly suspicious since it doesn't even link to the full text of the bill as far as I could tell - but it was already at least partially slashdotted when I visited. However I have read the text of the bill and I must refute the following point you made.

      Second, clearly the site is designed to spread FUD. The fake image of the "Real ID" card indicates that the card will contain information such as Religion and Occupation. It will not. Read the bill. FUD.

      Granted, their 'mock ID' is designed to spread fear with lines such as religion and occupation, however the text of the bill itself grants the power for other information to be added to the ID as the government sees fit. Most people assume this will be retina or fingerprint, but it could include anything, including religion! FUD is FUD, but their example is illustrating one of the key points why myself, and many others, are opposed to the bill - the fact that it hands the government arbitrary and vastly expandable powers of information collection and tracking. If Big Brother says your new ID must carry and display your political party affiliation, your stance on abortion, and if you've bought a 'support the troops ribbon magnet' then that info will be collected and added for anyone reading it to see. They could add your 'terrorist score' to the card, they can add your campaign contributions info to the card, anything!

      Also in regard to your comment about your data being scanned and sold by convenience stores being FUD, I think that's very likely to happen. Right now, at least in MA, if you look under the age of 27 - which is a totally objective evaluation by the store clerk - you must present ID to purchase tobacco or alcohol. In most of the stores around here they not only check your birthdate listed but they scan the drivers license to make sure it's real and not forged. Guess what? You want to make that transaction, you have to let them scan it or they won't accept it as a valid ID, and once they scan it they have your ID and all your data and it can be sold. It's bad enough you have to scrutinize privacy policies for every webstore you buy from, but now I need to find and read the privacy policy of every 7-11 or liquor store I want to make purchases from? Yes, consumers can vote with their wallet for those establishments but a majority of the populace either is unaware, or doesn't even care most of the time. Do you really think you and a handful of morally conscientious (sp?) geeks boycotting the 7-11 will affect their bottom line when 2000 other Joe Publics will buy smokes from them regardless?

      This is not a personal attack, and I am against FUD. But I think people need to be shown examples of what this ID allows and - lets face it - things this government will probably get around to trying to track with these cards. They want a nationally standardized ID? Fine, but it should outline all the info and a new bill should have to be passed (to allow for public input to their reps) to change what that card tracks. Simply giving the government un-checked, unmonitored ability to add info as they see fit is dangerous to freedom!

      I recommend everyone follow the parent poster's lead and read the text of this bill in full, think about it, read some arguments for and against, then send your opinion to your senator. Informed decisions people! Basing your choice on kneejerk reactions from any source (esp /.) would be just as bad as the people trying to fly this under the radar by attaching it to must-pass legislation!

  • THE FACTS: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Absolut187 (816431) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:06PM (#12478770) Homepage

    Currently most states do not even require proof of U.S. citizenship to obtain a Driver's License.
    You don't even need a SSN.

    How are we going to secure our borders without a national ID system? A nation without the power to control its own borders isn't really nation.
    It's just a hunk of land.

    article at fairus.org [fairus.org] In the following states, legal residence is not required to apply for a driver's license: Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
    • Re:THE FACTS: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:26PM (#12478995)

      Currently most states do not even require proof of U.S. citizenship to obtain a Driver's License. You don't even need a SSN.

      Sigh. SSNs are for getting social security benefits, they do not uniquely identify you. And why should someone need to tell you where they live to get a driver's license? Does it somehow effect their ability to drive?

      We don't have ID cards because we're supposed to be a free people that don't have to register with the government just to live. I guess such outdated ideals were thrown away because the TV scared all the little cowards into being afraid of the big, bad terrorists. You're a a stinking coward if you're willing to give up your freedom to let the government try to protect you and an idiot if you think they can or will. How about trying out a little personal responsibility? If a terrorist tries to blow you up, shoot them. This is America, right?

    • Re:THE FACTS: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aiken_d (127097)

      How are we going to secure our borders without a national ID system? A nation without the power to control its own borders isn't really nation. It's just a hunk of land.

      Damn, so for the past 229 years, the United States hasn't really been a nation? Just a hunk of land? And this ID card will fix that?

      And remind me exactly how a national ID card will "secure our borders"? Last time I checked, most illegal immigration happened away from our border checkpoints. How exactly will that change with a nati

  • THE HORROR! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jim_Callahan (831353) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:07PM (#12478782)
    Yeah, better protest... reading the act, the card will require awful, intrusive things like

    An adress of current residence
    A signature (oh, no!)
    A photograph (the horror!)
    and... wait for it... a DRIVERS LICENSE NUMBER.

    Those bastards! How dare they force my driver's license to reveal confidential information like my driver's license number! It's a crime against humanity, I tell you?

    Seriously, though. I have applied for drivers license in two states and neither of them will have to change a thing under this law, except being overseen by a federal organization. Maybe this means I'll finally stop getting jury summons for a state I haven't lived in in three years.
    • Re:THE HORROR! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by danila (69889)
      "An adress of current residence" is very bad. Do you realise that eventually (even if not in the beginning) it may require you to report to the authorities every time you move. Initially it may not be required for short trips, but it's only a technical change to replace "more than 60 days" with "more than 6 days". That would basically mean an obligatory trip to a police station when you travel to any place for more than a few days. Trust me, it sucks and it does strongly infringe on human rights of people -
    • Re:THE HORROR! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JimBobJoe (2758) <swiftheart@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @03:08PM (#12480000)
      the card will require awful, intrusive things like
      An adress of current residence


      Here in Ohio I worked my ass off and got a legislator last year to introduce a bill that would allow any Ohio license to be issued without an individual's address. [state.oh.us]

      The address is an awful anachronism, and unnecessary today. If you're an attractive 22 year old, would you want to show ever bouncer in town your home address simply to get into a club? For people who use their ID's a lot, it doesn't make so much sense to show everyone and their grandmother where they live. (Keep in mind, this doesn't remove the address record from DMV files, and if the DMV wants proof of address before issuing the license, that doesn't change anything either.)

      North Carolina currently issues address-less licenses to individuals who are domestic violence or stalking victims.

      I've also pointed out that the address is a huge key toward identity theft, should your license fall into the wrong hands.

      (You'll note that the legislation also allowed you to have a license issued without date of birth, also on privacy grounds, for individuals who do not use their license for age verification activities.)

      A signature (oh, no!)
      There is something to be said about your license not having the signature of the bearer, in case the license finds itself in the wrong hands, and then someone can use that signature for nefarious purposes.

      A photograph (the horror!)

      Approximately 16 states have codified relgious objector's non-photo driver's licenses. All states are technically supposed to issue them under federal case law.

      Keep in mind however, you've left out the bigger requirement regarding the photo. It must be a *digital* photo. I guess that's not necessarily a huge thing because all states now are on the digital license kick.

      However, this legislation technically requires that every single american over the age of 16 be photographed and that photograph be put into a national photograph database (since the state databases must be combined.) While that's basically in place, it wasn't being done with federal requirement.

      Think about it this way, essentially, every American is being required to show up at their local police station and be photographed. Since it's part of the natural licensing process that's been created no one noticed. (My Ohio BMV, when they brought out the photo license in 1974, promised that there would be no central photo archive...which they introduced in 1995 and hoped no one was paying attention.)

      and... wait for it... a DRIVERS LICENSE NUMBER.

      Did this legislation require a permanent driver's license number? If so...that's basically another SSN, with all its disadvantages and baggage.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:16PM (#12478878) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad the Republican control of Washington means a smaller, less intrusive government, protecting state's rights to self-government. And real tough security measures, to protect us from terrorists.

    Wait - Republicans have controlled the White House, Senate and House of Representatives for years? The WTC planebombers and OK City bombers all had legitimate ID? I'll have to wait for the next Fox News cycle to get ny updated talking points.
  • by justanyone (308934) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:17PM (#12478898) Homepage Journal
    I wrote:

    The implications of having a card like this are HUGE.

    We must address a variety of privacy concerns, including if the card will have its own ID number, how long that number is, whether it has 'check digits' in it to verify that is is valid (a checksum or 'hash' in computer lingo), whether anyone can request or retain the information in it, whether it has the person's address, if the address's city is the Post Office's or not (various villages are not recognized by the USPS), If there will be an RFID embedded in it, and if so, what information will be accessible via that RFID, and many other questions.

    Please address these issues in committee or in the Senate before voting quickly on something with so many privacy concerns attached. Various people in and out of the US Senate have said it is a very deliberative body. This bill cries out for committee hearings to determine what the advantages and disadvantages are for various items of information being put on the card as well as the open questions above.

    Thanks for your time,
    Cordially yours,
    -- Kevin (etc).
  • by ThosLives (686517) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:24PM (#12478981) Journal
    "When a society starts requiring ID cards, it's time to move to another planet." (probably paraphrased, credits to Heinlein)

    Seriously though, I have still not been able to figure out the whole "privacy" debate. All the information that is on these cards, as far as I can tell, including address, is information that can be publicly observed. Of course, this raises the question "should it be legal for someone to follow someone around to determine where they live?"

    Where you live isn't necessarily a private piece of information, but I can understand the desire people have to not make that information easily available to anyone who might want it. The plain fact of the matter is, there isn't really any such thing as privacy except where there is no possibility of observation.

    The dilemma faced by legislators - and the average citizen - is how do you know if people are telling the truth? How do you ensure "trust"? It's a pain in the rear in modern society - it used to be that you lived your life in a small town where you knew the entire town, and when outsiders came in they were treated with suspicion until they were around for long enough with demonstrated character to be trusted.

    That is, in fact, the only way to build trust: continued demonstration of certain behavior. This isn't even a guarantee of future behavior, which is the nasty caveat. So, as far as I see it, at best any new type of ID will be a neutral thing. In reality, it will probably carry some nominal fee and so not be good, and it will also probably be abused by certain people or organizations.

    The thing is, society is based on trust, and all this type of thing demonstrates is that people are less likely to trust than in the past. The other interesting thing is that you really cannot legislate trust, or behavior for that matter. You can only build trust, and you can only punish or reward behavior. Those are the only controls in society: reward and punishment. It's the unfortunate reality of the world in which we live.

  • MESSAGE TEMPLATE (Score:3, Informative)

    by LanMan04 (790429) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:51PM (#12479258)
    Here is the message template that eff.org (Electronic Freedom Foundation) provides to write your representatives to speak out against the REAL ID Act. Use this if you're having trouble thinking of what to say. I know I'm encouraging thoughtless messages to congress, but hey, too bad for the idiots that support this bill:
    ------------------
    I am a constituent who cares about privacy and national security, and I urge you to oppose the REAL ID Act provisions of the House emergency supplemental spending bill. The REAL ID Act creates a de facto "national ID," threatening our privacy, security, and the principles of federalism that safeguard both.

    National identification systems are prone to abuse at every step of their creation and use. The REAL ID Act would establish an enormous national database of ID holders, where even a small percentage of errors would cause major social disruption. Also, the ID would function as an internal passport that would be shown before accessing planes, trains, national parks, and court houses - an irresistible target for forgers and identity thieves. The Act also requires IDs to include "common machine-readable technology," which would likely include controversial radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies that can broadcast personal data to passersby. Worst of all, the REAL ID Act would divert resources from security measures that could actually work.

    Moreover, states do not want this kind of system. A similar program called "MATRIX" recently failed because states abandoned it due to privacy concerns. This is an example of federalism at work. We should respect a state's decision to protect its citizens' privacy, not conscript it into an ill-conceived national system.

    I hope that you will work to strip the REAL ID Act provisions from the emergency supplemental spending bill. Thank you for your time.
    -------------
  • I noticed several people not understanding why this is bad. Here are some excerpts from the bill:

    `(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

    `(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction--

    `(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or

    `(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'.


    Secretary of Homeland Security can do what he wants, and nobody has any recourse at ALL. He wanst to put in land mines, nothing we can do about it. Wants to spend 80 Billion dollars a year patrolling our borders, nothing he can do about it.

    It errods Attorney General position by giving the Secertary of Homeland security the same power. Bear in mind the attorny general has checks and balances that the Secretary of Homeland Security does not.

  • by KlomDark (6370) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:00PM (#12479349) Homepage Journal
    What in the mother fucking hell is wrong with these people? No judicial review? Since when do we remove a major check and balance from the American system? Just let this Homeland security guy play cowboy with no oversite from other factions of government?

    How completely, absolutely UNAMERICAN this Sensenbrenner person is. Has no grasp of the long term impact things like this will be to the US. Has no place in our government.

    Yah buddy, I said it, get out of our country since you obviously don't respect what made our country great.

    ------------------

    SEC. 102. WAIVER OF LAWS NECESSARY FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BARRIERS AT BORDERS.

    Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended to read as follows:

    `(c) Waiver-

    `(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

    `(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction--

    `(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or

    `(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'.
  • House Voting Record (Score:3, Informative)

    by wcdw (179126) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:23PM (#12479564) Homepage
    For those outraged enough to complain to their House representatives for passing this crap to the senate in the first place, here's a link to the vote:

    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2005/roll031.xml [house.gov]
  • HR 418 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tocs (866673) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:36PM (#12479689)
    Here is a link to a statement [globalresearch.ca] by Representative Ron Paul (Republican of Texas). I think he has good things to say about the Real ID Act I think some of the other parts of the Bill (HR 418 ) are just as troubling. I am not a lawyer but some of the things sound a little spooky. Dosent the part below mean the Secretary of Homeland Security has (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:3:./te mp/~c109hAhhtl:: [loc.gov]

    SEC. 102. WAIVER OF LAWS NECESSARY FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BARRIERS AT BORDERS.
    Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended to read as follows:
    `(c) Waiver-
    `(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.
    `(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction--
    `(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or
    `(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'.

  • by nokiator (781573) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:37PM (#12479695) Journal
    It would be easy to fight this provision in the senate: Just attach a simple amendment that requires gun dealers to scan a customer's Real ID before making a sale!
  • by fupeg (653970) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:58PM (#12479886)
    Stuff like this seems harmless to the "average" citizen, and it seems like it could somehow "stop" illegal immigrants and potential terrorists. This is exactly how freedom is lost. Seemingly well meaning bills passed during times of "crisis." Oh I'm sure some will say that I'm being paranoid and shouldn't by all this "big brother crap." But if you give the state the ability to monitor all of its citizens, then you have essentially put yourself into a prison and given away your rights. It's called a panopticon [wikipedia.org]. If the state can observe you at any times, then you lose all freedom. Not because they punish you for things, but just because of the fear it creates. It's the perfect prison.

    Now the Real ID does not create a panopticon necessarily. However, it does create the means. If everyone has to have this card with them at all times and it can be "read" electronically, then it doesn't take a genius to connect the dots, through in some GPS (or even just triangulation) and suddenly the state can track the location of all of its citizens at all times. Now imagine if all businesses start requiring Real ID if you're going to use a credit card. That's not really that far-fetched, now is it? So now suddenly much of your economic activity can also be identified and tracked without your knowledge. You can easily get even more wild with the "uses" of such technology, but these two things are both pretty simple and far-reaching.

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