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Ellison Wants National ID Card, Powered By Oracle

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the symbol-of-the-beast-is-ORCL dept.

Privacy 666

cplater writes: "This article discusses Larry Ellison's call for a U.S. national ID card, and his offer to provide the software for such an initiative." There's an advertising slogan to be proud of: 'Oracle, the Big Database behind Big Brother'. Or 'Oracle, the All-Seeing Eye'. Or 'If it's good enough for Orwell, it's good enough for your company'. Update: 09/23 23:22 GMT by M : Richard Jones writes "The British Home Secretary is considering compulsory identity cards, despite the fact that such cards would not have made any difference in the recent terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The British have generally opposed their reintroduction since the wartime system of identity cards was abolished in 1952."

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BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338856)

Breaking News: Osama Bin Ladin IS GAY! [isgay.com]

www.MarkVD.net Rocks! [markvd.net]

More breaking news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338887)

Jenni is getting eaten out, as we speak!

Re:More breaking news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338947)

god she is an ugly, fat pig. her boyfriend is a faggot kike too.

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Can we just get AY(d)BABTU out of the way? (0, Offtopic)

xigxag (167441) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338858)


And on a more serious note... (2, Funny)

xigxag (167441) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338879)

It seems clear to me that Larry Ellison is still smarting from his failed attempt to best Bill Gates in the "World's Richest Guy" competition. So now he's attempting to one-up Bill's whole Passport/Hailstorm initiative by being the gatekeeper for a much more pervasive system than Microsoft's MSN/Hotmail.

more important news (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338862)


I installed mandrake yesturday, and the install fialed.. afterwards my printer refused to work.. EVER. I tried it in windows98 (my OS of choice) and it's now broken. I called the manufacturer and they said 'WE DONT SUPPORRT LINUX SO GO AWAY'

linux broke my goddamn printer!

Re:more important news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338888)

That's what happens when you use homemade operating systems.

Dear Lord. (1, Offtopic)

TheFlu (213162) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338863)

If this happens, I'm moving to Afghanistan after we bomb it. No Taliban, and people who are already used to repressive regimes. My kindergarten teacher always said I'd make a great dictator.

What's wrong with a national ID card? (3, Funny)

cdraus (522373) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338865)

At least I'd know who I was. Anytime I forgot I could look proudly down at my chest and point to my ID.

Re:What's wrong with a national ID card? (2)

Anonymous DWord (466154) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338937)

Chest? It's tattoed on the inside of your wrist.

Re:What's wrong with a national ID card? (1)

xmedar (55856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2339023)

Thats an old idea, Hitler, the famed innovator had the same scheme going, for some reason, we didnt like it then, and neither did our governments, well I guess the times have changed, I'm putting all my money in Xyclon B futures, how about you?

boring (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338867)


Boy, then we'll be safe (3, Informative)

selectspec (74651) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338868)

Sounds like a fancy passport. Gee wiz, nobody will ever be able to forge that! What a complete waste of time. Why anybody listens to that Jack Ass is beyond me. He's just panicing because nobody wants to pay $8,000/cpu for his shitty database anymore.

Is free really free? (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338934)

Agreed. I'm sure it will be free like commercial versions of Linux are free - give them the software and charge for support. There, of course, is nothing wrong with that, however, I doubt it will be completely "free" like he suggests. After all, Oracle support isn't exactly cheap either I'm sure.

I think you're right about Oracle - you might get the best performance out of Oracle, but most companioes can settle for "second best" just to save thousands of dollars. Besides, there development tools are trash. If you want good dev tools, go with SQL Server. If you want good performance at an more affordable price, how about DB2 or Postgres?

If there is any indication about their mentality, Oracle Developer is it. What a pile of donkey crap. I'd rather use Lotus Notes (okay, not really).

National ID card (2, Insightful)

jonistron (523903) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338871)

We already have a national ID card, Social Security ones.

Re:National ID card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338952)

All depends on how the id is used.

Here in France we have SSN and id cards but unlike inthe US neither is needed to open a bank account nor are they requested when completing your tax form

In five years of living in France, my id card has been requested exactly once when I purchased an appartment and the fact that the card was expired at that moment caused no problems

From my experiences here and in the US it seems that France with its id card is much less restrictive that the USA with its SSN - it' all
in how the id's are used.

-- HBP

Larry Ellison. (1)

suss (158993) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338872)

``We need a database behind that, so when you're walking into an airport and you say that you are Larry Ellison, you take that card and put it in a reader and you put your thumb down and that system confirms that this is Larry Ellison,'' he said.

People who talk about themselves in the third person are scary. It also makes him sound like Bob Dole.

And i'm still not convinced he really *IS* Larry Ellison.

Re:Larry Ellison. (1)

stuartrcooper (523908) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338920)

It would be scary when Ellison gets on a plane, as lots of sirens would be going off because the ego detectors would be overheating.

SSN (3, Interesting)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338874)

First the Social Security Number which when proposed to the people of the US was promised to not be used as a unique identifier, but just a way of tracking your payments into your social security account. Try doing anything in the US now without that Unique Identification Number. Get a job, get a phone, open a bank account, get a loan.

So now this, at least they seem to be a little more up front about the purpose.

Yes, I'm outraged by the loss off life and destruction of property. But I'll be more outraged by the sheep that allow things like this to pass.

Re:SSN (2, Interesting)

ainsoph (2216) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338919)

Yes, I'm outraged by the loss off life and destruction of property. But I'll be more outraged by the sheep that allow things like this to pass.

Amen. Scary it is that we are being asked time and time again over the last week or so to get ready for a loss of 'freedoms' and how on CNN the other day Ashcroft was quoted as saying cheerfully(and I cannot find the link right now, will post)"From now on we are going to have to keep tabs on the majority of US citizens, including massive databases and databanks".

This is the part that is scaring me the most (aside from people who are profiting off of this mess CNN, Ellison, etc..)

Re:SSN (4, Insightful)

spudnic (32107) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338940)

Is that really so bad?

Your employer needing it is understood. He has to have your SSN to file forms and payments for you with the IRS. That was part of the original purpose, correct?

Now for the other people. They need some way of differentiating between you and anyone else. They need a Unique Identifier of some sort. How else are they supposed to make a decision on whether or not to extend credit to you? Getting a phone or other utility turned on is a type of credit.

Is it wrong for them to want to be able to go back and look at your history of paying other creditors? Getting a loan is not a right, it is earned by showing that you have fullfilled your obligations in the past and therefore, probably will this time.

If we didn't have some sort of unique identifier assigned to each of us, how would you propose they do this? "Ah, you're a white guy living in a good neighborhood. Here's the $250,000 you needed." If you can't profile people by their past actions, you have to find some other attribute to judge them by.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think this would be such a bad idea. As Ellison said in the article, all we would be giving up is the "illusion" that we can't be tracked.

Re:SSN (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338975)

Try doing anything in the US now without that Unique Identification Number. Get a job

Yeah, but in this specific instance, you're wrong. How exactly is your employer supposed to pay the taxes into your social security account without that number?

All the other instances, though, I agree iwth you.

Re:SSN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338996)

what are you afraid of? employers, banks, schools, etc. use that number simply to make sure that everyone in their comp-yoo-ter systems has a unique number. nothing insiduous going on here, folks! and to those worried (for whatever reason) about having a national id card -- guess what most of us already have the functional equivalent: drivers licenses and passports. most of us even have both. and don't forget that almost all of us have ssn's anyway. relax people.

Re:SSN (1)

Dallam_ (442081) | more than 11 years ago | (#2339006)

Yet another Big Business that wants to forward its agenda under the auspices of the WTC attacks. I am amazed at the amount of people who watch as Bush wraps himself in the flag and the choirs sing Battle Hymn of The Republic. They let their emotions overule their intellect and make it easier for politicians and big business to push thier own personal agendas. None of these measures are going to help one bit to make any of us more secure, it is only going to take hard earned rights away from us. People, please stop and read the fine print of what these people want to take from us. Once we let them take any rights from us, we will never get them back. Don't buy into it.

I agree with Larry! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338875)

...only when all of this goes down, I'll be
building a couple of legions to go along with my
own "personal" identity.

You know, databases are a two way street and a
database full of crap data will make a monkey out
of big brother.

Also, it's funny how the guy advocating the upside
to identity fabrication/borrowing who posted a
message to ./ comments about a week ago was
completely censored... way to go ./!

Good idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338876)

Along with this, we need to eradicate all homosexuals. And niggers.

ok (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338877)

wheres the article bitching about new federal restrictions on crop dusters?

Those damn feds just want to steal all our freedoms, can you beleive they made it illegal to fly a crop duster over an urban area? those fucking assholes.

of course! (2, Interesting)

grape jelly (193168) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338880)

Well of course Ellison would shamelessly promote Oracle to create a National ID. If he doesn't make his money off selling the database software itself (which he claims he won't), he'll make it off consulting fees or upgrades.

Re:of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338914)

Making money off of consultation sounds a lot like most linux biz plans.

if only.... (1)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338881)

we could just get passport to run over oracle with backdoor enabled encryption, all of our authentication problems would be solved! Plus we could more easily weed out those gnu hippies/terrorists !!!

We'd have the added bonus of the government supporting oracle as well as M$ leading to the grand vision of 2 monopolies, working together to rest our freedom from our possesion

how would this help us? (0)

NightHwk1 (172799) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338883)

i dont think any terrorists would have a problem making counterfeit cards.. or even getting them legally.

and remember, if a law is trying to -prevent- something from happening, its probably violating your rights.

Enough with the "Big Brother" rhetoric.. Jesus.. (0, Flamebait)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338886)

We already HAVE a nationwide ID card. Its called your Social Security Number.Infact, we have several. Your credit card #, your Tax ID Number, your address, your birth certificate ID, among others.

The degree of civil-liberties whining on Slashdot has gotten out of control. Instead of sound, logical arguments, we get frothing at the mouth from unbathed hippies who think the government is out to tag 'n bag all of us. Jeezus.


Re:Enough with the "Big Brother" rhetoric.. Jesus. (1)

Zazm (37992) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338896)

I'd rather put up with endless "Big Brother" whining than face the consequences of no one bothering to complain.

Have a nice day to all the people in "the land of the free".

Re:Enough with the "Big Brother" rhetoric.. Jesus. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2339014)

ok, point taken. but PLEASE tell us what you are so worried about? do you honestly think that everyone in the federal government is just rubbing their hands together in glee at the opportunity to take our rights away? to what end? if that's the case, do you think this country is free right now and is even worth protecting?

Re:Enough with the "Big Brother" rhetoric.. Jesus. (1)

bwhalen (246170) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338908)

Last I checked credit card numbers are not had by everyboday and are not used for foolproof id. Also, I do not thinh u need to show a social security number to get on a plane. DOB as an id, way too many people share those for it to be a useful ID.

Re:Enough with the "Big Brother" rhetoric.. Jesus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338926)

the government is out to tag 'n bag all of us

You laugh, but if they had the power to do so, they would, eventually, find that power irresistible [bartleby.com].

Re:Enough with the "Big Brother" rhetoric.. Jesus. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338987)

Shut the fuck up you whining asshole. You'll forever be remembered as a whiny little fuckwit!

Re:Enough with the "Big Brother" rhetoric.. Jesus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338999)

Bowie J. Poag writes "I'll keep this short and sweet-- Due to the lack of upkeep on the site (read: The guy I gave control of the site to didn't do anything to keep it going like he promised..) I've decided its time for Propaganda to close its doors for good.. I'm not going to pursue the idea of finding a replacement, or going back to doing it solo. For now, the site will remain up for those who still care to visit. I've finally managed to locate a site where I can move my work to, in order to cut any remaining ties with VA Linux Systems. The work will remain publically available elsewhere, but no further additions will be made to the collection. The last two less-than-stellar volumes will also be removed. Myself, the people I worked with, and my project have been through a great number of ups and downs in the last year or so..Some of which I really enjoyed, but most of which i'd honestly like to forget. To me, I'd rather see the project come to a respectful end than to see it continue to languish. I accomplished what I originally set out to do in '98, so, I guess we won in the end. (A note to the Slashdot staff: Just to repeat, this isn't an April Fools joke. My decision was made a few days ago. Sorry for the bad timing.) "

You self-important fuck, nobody cares about propaganda.


bwhalen (246170) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338890)

Subject says it all, big Brother is high on my list of enemies. We must be able to maintain liberty without giving up this much freedom.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2339024)

what are you so afraid of, though? employers, banks, schools, etc. use that
number simply to make sure that everyone in their comp-yoo-ter systems
has a unique number. nothing insiduous going on here, folks! and to
those worried (for whatever reason) about having a national id card --
guess what most of us already have the functional equivalent: drivers
licenses and passports. most of us even have both. and don't forget
that almost all of us have ssn's anyway.

Here we go again (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338892)

Please post all of your "founder's" quotes here. Ben Franklin (They that can give up blah blah blah), Lincoln, you get the idea.

That way, the rest of us who have something original to say won't have to be bothered with your mindless founder-quoting-drivel. thx.

But does it make it right? (5, Interesting)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338894)

But Ellison said in the electronic age, little privacy is left anyway. ``Well, this privacy you're concerned about is largely an illusion,'' he said. ``All you have to give up is your illusions, not any of your privacy. Right now, you can go onto the Internet and get a credit report about your neighbor and find out where your neighbor works, how much they earn and if they had a late mortgage payment and tons of other information.''

So since we are already losing our privacy and our civil liberties, we should might as well give up the rest of them to Larry and Oracle.. good idea. This is just another prime example of how in this day and age people are willing to let their stand by as their rights vaporize before their eyes. Too many people are willing to simply succumb to the will of corporations like Oracle, that's how things like the DMCA get passed. Of course, the big corps know this and use it to their advantage.

The WTC Law (2, Insightful)

YKnot (181580) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338897)

Anyone mentioning the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or the fourth crashed plane in an attempt to justify a change of law is not acting in the tradition of a free country. Using the terrorist attacks to finally get what Big Brothers always wanted should anger every free citizen.

Opportunistic dick... (5, Informative)

Deluge (94014) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338898)

If Larry Ellison were a lawyer, he'd be the epitome of ambulance chasers. I saw this guy on TV a day or two after the attack (or possibly even the very same day), on a news program no less, and what he had to say amounted to "I feel sorry for all those people, this is terrible, blah blah, ORACLE ROCKS!, this is such a national tragedy."

Now, I can understand that there's some unsavory individuals who, for example, looted stores near ground zero in the midst of all the chaos. But to have one of the richest men on earth hawking his warez under the guise of offering insightful commentary on how the WTC attacks affected the tech sector is just sick beyond belief.

Say what you will about evil corporate bosses, but at least Billy G had the good sense to keep his mouth shut.

And now, of course, he is further attempting to turn the situation to his advantage. The man has no shame.

Re:Opportunistic dick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338923)

Well microsoft did manage to send a truckload of Windows 2000 shirts to the disaster relief center.

Why anyone would need a Windows 2000 teeshirt after the world trade center attack is beyond me, heh.

They coulda sent some licenses instead so the red cross wouldn't have had to beg for donations when it set up a small network to keep track of the missing.

It's not a clothing shortage it's a terrorist attack, mmm, oh well.

This is going to get modded down like crazy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338905)

but a national ID card system has many advantages(and disadvantages)...

Number 1 Disadvantage - "They" can get you.. so what? "They" can get you now if they want to!

Advantages -

1. If used with a biometric "checksum" stored on the card automated scanners can be used to make identity fraud non-existent in sensitive areas. IE courtrooms, jails, airports, gun-buying shops, munitions-shops, banks, etc.

2. It would provide "the standard" for authentication.. and seriously cut the barriers to entry for electronic commerce/services.

3. If coupled with bank accounts(data stored at double-blind data banks to stop "tracking", yea I know, except for the CIA, etc.).. could cut down on the need for carrying cash.



What this is: (1)

Derkec (463377) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338906)

This is essentially a card which links your Social security number to your fingerprint, and sticks a picture of your face on the front for good measure. While I think having to use this in order to get into a resturaunt would be a bad thing, using it to get into airport shouldn't be bad. It would be fairly tough to forge. On the other hand, we can't legislate that the British and everyone else on the planet would have to have the same thing. Without that, any foriegner would be exempt from this sort of thing within US borders and the advantages of the added security would be minimal. This is worth taking a look at, but it better be a long, hard look that weighs the pros and cons very carefully.

Re:What this is: (1)

canadian_right (410687) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338965)

Why would foriegner's be exempt? Don't they get forced to get passports or visa's?

The USA can force whatever stupid laws it wants on visitors.

Re:What this is: (2)

topham (32406) | more than 11 years ago | (#2339000)

There is not requirement that I have a passport or visa if I am in the United States.

As a Canadian I only need some form of identification. Drivers license & birth certificate are adaquate.

(And that, as far as I can tell, is only to travel through the border, but I would never travel without some for of ID.).

Ellison Wants National ID Card, Powered By Oracle? (1)

pclinger (114364) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338907)

Well I Want a National ID Card, Powered By MySQL.

Mr. Ellison just wants to expand his pocketbook.

I'm in favor of this idea (4, Insightful)

JoeShmoe (90109) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338909)

...if it's optional.

One unique ID that can log me into my systems, allow people to contact me, allow me to make purchases and make the coffee machine brew exactly the way I like it? Sign me up!

This is no different than what we have now with Social Security Number, Driver's License, MasterCard, IP Address. The difference is that all these numbers aren't interchangable.

Security issues? Use PINs or biometrics. Big Brother issues? Allow users to control their database entried, or opt-out entirely.

I look forward to one card wallets.

- JoeShmoe

Re:I'm in favor of this idea (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338922)

You think you were worried about Identity Theft before??? Imagine if someone were to get hold of your one and only Universal Number/PIN. You might as well not exist at that point.

Re:I'm in favor of this idea (1)

rabidcow (209019) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338986)

Yeah it's different. He wants to have a fingerprint on it, right? Biometrics!

And btw, with regards to the terrorist attack, if the airports check your fingerprints (for all passengers, which would suck) and match that against the card/national database, you would know for certain who was on the plane. They have already found some of the people who were supposedly on the planes alive and well.

A question (1)

spac (125766) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338910)

Why wage a war to protect American freedom from terrorists, when the greatest threat to our freedom is our government itself?

credit history != (1)

mdangel00 (115575) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338915)

Ellison states in the article:

``Well, this privacy you're concerned about is largely an illusion,'' he said. ``All you have to give up is your illusions, not any of your privacy. Right now, you can go onto the Internet and get a credit report about your neighbor and find out where your neighbor works, how much they earn and if they had a late mortgage payment and tons of other information.''

The only reason this illusion still exists to the average Joe Citizen is because he/she for the most part hasn't been made aware of the fact that their privacy really is that thin. Like the "shopping cards" at Krogers that track your shopping habits and the browser cookies that track your browsing habits. If consumers were handed a sheaf of all the information that a no-name citizen can collect about them through legal means, the citizens would demand reform.

Furthermore, even if this level of invasion is justified, does Ellison really think that the terrorists' ID cards and figerprints would have denied them access to the flights that they boarded? It sounds so much like a corporate knee-jerk reaction, or an attempt to grab a share of a potentially lucrative opening market...

It worked great in Nazi Germany (4, Funny)

T1girl (213375) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338916)

Need i say more? We've already got E-Z Pass, Acme Rent-A-Car's GPS systems and every "CRM" system devised in the last 5 years tracking our movements and purchases. I used to think people who claimed the government had implanted a chip in their brains to monitor their movements were crazy; maybe they were just prescient. This would be an instant challenge to hack. We already live in a country where the Pres' teenage daughters can drink on a fake ID, so there would be a big demand for faking these IDs.

Re:It worked great in Nazi Germany (0, Troll)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338931)

Oh well I was hoping for an insiteful conversation on this topic, but Godwin's Law has been invoked. Everyone on to the next story.

Pfffttt... (0, Flamebait)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338994)

Thanks for adding that great little nugget to the conversation. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

Anyone else find it ironic that a guy who never uses a commercial plane to fly anymore is concerned about airport security?

And what's wrong with that?? (1)

Snuffub (173401) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338918)

Israel has a system where every person is assigned an ID number which, unlike your social security number, is a public record anyone can check. This isnt going to take away libterties from anyone It would just allow the government to do what theyre supposed to do anyway. Airplane hijackings arent the only place where this would be useful, identity fraud and underage drinking is another area (not that i think that setting the drinking age at 21 isnt counter productive and doesnt encourage bing drinking and unsafe behavior. but thats another argument entierly.) What good is a fake ID if you walk into a bar and they scan your number on your id and it comes back invalid or with someone else's information on it.

Re:And what's wrong with that?? (1)

Anonymous DWord (466154) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338971)

This isnt going to take away libterties from anyone It would just allow the government to do what theyre supposed to do anyway.

Which is what? Protect you from bad men? Make sure you don't speed? Make sure you pay your parking fines or you can't buy food?

The hijacked planes were not taken over by people with fake ID and submachine guns. They got on the plane legally, and hijacked the planes with knives. How is national ID going to help that?

We have them... I dont see the problem (2, Informative)

kuiken (115647) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338924)

Here in .be(elgium we have national ID cards, from age 12, you have to have them always on you from age 16 i think.
It contains the usual stuff (name adress birthdate) and as an opt-out our version of what would be SSN#, only police and other officials can demand you to show it other people can ask it but you dont have to show it. I dont see the difference with having a driving licence on you or any other form of ID they use in the US

Re:We have them... I dont see the problem (1)

bwhalen (246170) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338941)

I'd prefer it if the US didnt become borderline Socialist like many western European nations..

Re:We have them... I dont see the problem (2)

spudnic (32107) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338970)

The difference between what you are describing and a drivers license is that you aren't required to always have your license with you, only when driving.

If I want to take a walk down to the park, I don't have to worry about being stopped by the police for some reason and them hasseling me because I can't prove who I am.

What happens if you don't have it on you? Is there a fine? What other countries have similiar ID cards and how are they used? I know we have a lot of very intelligent people from all over the world here that can provide some insight into a system that is already in place.

Re:We have them... I dont see the problem (1)

joshki (152061) | more than 11 years ago | (#2339007)

You can be hassled for not having an ID on you walking in the park. I don't know if it's a law, but I know people who have been given a hard time about it before. Then again, I'm in the military, so I'm used to carrying ID on me all the time. An idea like this doesn't bother me that much -- except for the simple fact that it gives authorities a much larger measure of control and potential to abuse. If it's not abused, it shouldn't be a problem. So it would have to have very strict guidelines on how authorities are allowed to use it.

Identity cards: no. Slashdot moderation: yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338927)

What we need to prevent further terrorist acts is a moderation system like on Slashdot. Everyone starts at 0. You can moderate anyone you want up or down on the "safety" scale. Scores -1 can't board planes. If someone with positive karma turns out to be a terrorist, everyone who moderated him up loses karma in metamoderation. It's that simple.

Re:Identity cards: no. Slashdot moderation: yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338955)

that'll bring new meaning to the words karma whore...yeaaaah baby!

no. (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338928)

no thank you.

exactly what I say when the grocery stores ask if I want their little tracking device.

we don't need it, we don't want it. no.

Re:no. (1)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338943)

I apply for a new one every time, just make up a new name and address, and pay in cash.

Of course I don't go shopping that often so I can afford to entertain myself with these silly little pleasures.

Orwell is rolling in his grave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338929)

The British Home Secretary is considering compulsory identity cards

So is Bush according to Matt Drudge [drudgereport.com]

Re:Orwell is rolling in his grave (1)

amstar (222692) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338956)

Well David Blunkett (British Home Secretary, blind at that too) can consider it all he wants. It's been considered many times before and nothing has ever happened - even in the news reports on the telly tonight the proviso "will be considered at some point but not in the near future" has always been added.

Como uno genio atrapado...

Hmm (1)

Order_of_May (522787) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338930)

Calls for national ID cards traditionally have been met with fierce resistance from civil liberties groups, who say the cards would intrude on the privacy of Americans and allow the government to track people's movements. But Ellison said in the electronic age, little privacy is left anyway. ``Well, this privacy you're concerned about is largely an illusion,'' he said. ``All you have to give up is your illusions, not any of your privacy. Right now, you can go onto the Internet and get a credit report about your neighbor and find out where your neighbor works, how much they earn and if they had a late mortgage payment and tons of other information.'' The bad thing is, he's right, of course. There's not much privacy left.

National ID is Good, IF DONE PROPERLY... (5, Interesting)

trims (10010) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338950)

National ID cards (in the US, replacing the mishmash of Social Security, Driver's License, Military ID, blah blah) are actually a privacy enhancing thing, if backed up by the proper regulations.

Right now, in the US, we (ie the individual) have virtually no way of tracking who is tracing us, and identity theft is difficult to trace. There are a thousand and one different places to steal access to, any one of which can be used to forge access to another. And furthermore, there is almost no way to keep track of who accesses what information.

Even if the US put in reasonable privacy laws for the current system, keeping track of all accesses to your information is problematic, at best.

I'd be all for a National ID card, should they pass reasonable privacy laws with it. And my definition of privacy laws is this: I get to control who has access to what information, I decide what information can go in the system, I decide the granularity of info given to people, I own my information, nobody can collect information about me (unless as an unidentifiable part of an aggregate) unless I explicitly permit it, and no one can share any information about me with anyone else. There would be exceptions for court-ordered disclosures for law-enforcement, but that's it.

That system would be great: it would prevent a person with a suspended driver's license in one state from getting a new one in another, while at the same time prevent company A from discovering I like Mary Typer Moore shows by my viewing habits, then selling this info to company B.

Having a properly monitored and regulated central database of personal info is far better than the completely insecure mishmash of crap we have today.

But unless they put in those restrictions, Hell No!


Re:National ID is Good, IF DONE PROPERLY... (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#2339009)


that's the problem. The god damn SSN isn't used properly (my fucking video store demanded I give them my SSN or I could walk out the door w/o a membership -- they are the only store in town w/a decent DVD selection (3/6.00 ain't fucking bad))

We already know that this will be abused and it won't work. Let's not beat around the bush here. It is going to go the way of everything else. HELL.

I don't want to have a single unique identifier. My CC only has my purchases from my grocery store (if they want to know how many fucking bottles of Coke I drink so be it) but if they start tracking how many times I buy beer at the local drive-thru I am going to get pissed off.

That's exactly what is going to happen. That damn ID UPC is going to be on my neck and seen from satellites up above.

No thanks.

Re:National ID is Good, IF DONE PROPERLY... (1)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 12 years ago | (#2339013)

Very good comment. I'll agree mostly with you, but just bring up a few points.

Okay, if this is going to be the One Source of information about you. It contains your credit report and such. Should you be able to control that information. I'm thinking yes. So you could remove negitive comments about your credit history. Obviously you'd not want to remove the positive information. So it would be up to you to build a lot of positive info. Banks probally won't like this.

Also, I worry about people who like my mother who will never think of checking the info stored with her UIN. So even with your restrictions in place, they probally won't be of benifit to a huge number of people, because they just don't care. I'd like to care, for them.

Unbelievable. (1)

Dissident (20799) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338957)

I've seen a whole slew of new commerciales trying to tie together patrotism with some silly product like a car or a bank. Now this? First off, we already have Social Security numbers. Talk about Big Brother. Having once been an MIS director in the mental health field I can tell you that the ramifications of just this unique identifier are amazing. Ever feel a little down and see a social worker? Well guess what? They have to diagnose you for the paper work nazi/bean pushers. That diagnosis will most likely be tied to your social security number (at least in some states). How nice, a unique identifier tying you to a record of mental illness. I can't imagine the consequences of Mr. Ellison's unique identifier tied in with biometrics.

And as if the ramifications of this weren't so bad the whole thing is really a sad, last ditch effort, to sell the most over-priced product (besides MS SQL Server) ever. At least Oracle has some features and a track record for stability. I think the logic behind raising the price of SQL Server was honestly to say, "if it costs as much it must be as good!" Of course, they have no proven track record of stability, features, and scalability but what the hell. I'm surprised Bill Gates and the Cisco guys haven't all piped up with outraged cries that had the WTC been properly networked with Cisco Catelysts and MSN internet access then more lives would have been saved because of better awareness of the gravity of the situation. Give me a break!

Criminal Investigations of the Future (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338958)

Just think of how much easier it will be to solve certain crimes in the future. Our faces will be tracked at book stores and other retail stores alike, our prints will be taken at air ports, and we'll be tracked by bloated databases.

Defense lawyers of the future will be fighting the results of SQL queries instead of forensic evidence.

Perhaps I'm in the wrong field...

Identy cards (1)

Diplomat73 (323901) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338963)

Their are already many countries that have identy cards. For example Palestines are not free to move without identy cards issued by Israel. Also I beleive that during the czars identy cards were required. I beleive that if identy cards are inforced here in the USA you can say that the terrorists have won. We would be creating some police state. That would not be good.

This is what would be good (1)

Microsift (223381) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338964)

As additional security, require the following: when you buy tickets, you must provide the number from some form of picture ID. The ID is verified, checking both that it was issued by a recognized authority, and that the name and other info match the information you provided. The picture associated with that ID would be available to the gate agent. So the picture on the ID would need to look like both the picture the gate agent had, and the id holder. Logical checks to make, outstanding warrants, wanted for questioning, linked with terrorist organizations, etc...Keep in mind that travelling on an airplane is not a right, it is a modern convenience. People without ID's (for instance small children) would travel on someone else's identification.

This is not such a big deal (2)

ZanshinWedge (193324) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338968)

What this is:

A verifiable ID card.

It's just like any identification system (credit card, driver's licence, passport, etc.) except it has the ability to be instantly verified (scan bar code on ID card and you get a picture / name from the database). Yes, it has a great potential for abuse (it would be fairly simple to track usage of such a system and thus track a person's activities / whereabouts to some degree)). But this is not a NEW potential for a buse. And most heartening is that a government run system has ACCOUNTABILITY. Take out your wallet, now take a look at your credit / debit cards. Think about the fact that every purchase you've made with those is stored away in a database and accessable (and researchable!) by someone who is not directly accountable to you.

Now, think about other ways this could be used. Imagine being able to have a verifiable identification system for police, government agents and employees.

when did /. change? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2338969)

from "News for Nerds" to "Michaael's leftist rant"?

And half the time, he doesn't even get the facts right.

better idea (4, Funny)

ocie (6659) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338978)

Let's not waste money on an expensive database system. Let's just find all the bad people and make them wear easily identified tags around their necks..

People....Its time to pick up the Ball (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338980)

President Bush is, although popular and very smart looking on TV last week, still a corporativist. As such, he is going to be passing a lot of dough to Microsoft (he already helped them with their 'little problem'), Oracle and every company that in his itty bitty mind looks like 'the very foundation of the american economy'.

So, me coming from an infamously corporativist governed country, can testify that when government start giving this easy deals to big companies (or small ones, for that matter), it just spoils them.

It is an uncouncios way to control their innovation as the companies include in their strategy the weight of this new...er...say.... "partner".

Now, this aint gonna do no good to the companies in the techonologicall way. Sure, it'll make them lots of cash, but their innovation will slow down as they give priority to the enormous requirements of this big ass systems that, in the end, wont do to much good either 'cause as soon as the U.S. can retake its normal way of life all this kind of bulshit systems will be thrown out the recycle bin.

So, I say someone has gotta pick up the ball for innovation, or at least take advantage of the small breath this companies will take. It will make them less competitive, it will slow their pace, they wont see the creation of new technology as important as satisfying big brother's cries for help.

So this is our time all over again, I think this companies grip in some markets will loosen because the contraction in the economy will make those markets smaller, and again, the government becomes a strong ally, but a strong client as well (and suits know thats never good). So, all geeks should be working twice as hard to make their stuff work and present it as a real option to the market, that will perceive by itself how techonology (for them) isnt moving as fast as it used to.


What makes him think Oracle is upto the task. (2)

color of static (16129) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338993)

To be perfectly honest, Oracle does not scale well into that range of database. We are talking about 300 million people now, and it will grow to 500 million soon enough. That's the minimum number of records (it'll be much higher when other tables and relations are formed). So there are billions of records (maybe trillions within a few years of use as we would need audit trails on something like this), and the number of transactions it would need to support per second would be astounding. How many people are pulled over for just traffic offenses every second? Let us not forget reports, data mining (why else would you use a database rather than just a set of cards?), and other quesries.

Sorry, I don't think Oracle is upto the task of being Big Brother's best clerk.

Biometic's won't work. (1)

camcanuck (63448) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338995)

First off we already have an ID card. Its called a Social Security (or Social Insurance for us Canuck's). Larry is simply suggesting we add a picture and some sort of biometric id. The big problem I see with this system is the dependance on biometics. Biometic ID's are flawed because your can't revoke your key. Someone steals your credit card number, you get a new one. Someone breaks into the 'Master' Oracle DB and steals your digital thumb print. What are your going to do? Grow a new thumb???

What is the problem? (1)

gutterface (61662) | more than 11 years ago | (#2338997)

Exactly what is the problem with national id cards? Civil liberties people are complaining, here and in the article, but it all seems like vague complaints of "big brother". There one complaint I saw was that this could allow people to be tracked. Well, unless you live in a unabomber shack, you can be tracked through your credit cards, airplane tickets, car rentals, etc.

The key to this system is the fingerprint authentication, something that at the least should be done with passports.

We are in the stone ages when it comes to this stuff. This wouldn't stop the WTC tragedy, since the terrorists were using foreign passports, but I could easily concieve a system where authenticated people with national id cards would go through a routine security and people without the id cards could go through a stricter security examination. Better yet, give foreigners a temporary id card (once again authenticated by fingerprints).

Biometrics is the key though. It's the most practical way to authenticate your identity.

Larry Ellison is a shameless (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 11 years ago | (#2339003)

He's taking advantage of a horrible terrorist attack in order to hawk his wares. Yes, he will supply the database for free but he was rather mum about the technical support costs...
I have a way for him to help the cause and spend some money instead. He could fund a counter-terrorist terrorist group. For some reason, he seems like the type of person to whom this kind of idea would appeal.

To wit (1)

Anonymous DWord (466154) | more than 11 years ago | (#2339004)

A herd, as everyone knows, is composed of creatures deprived of speech and with fairly weak sphincters. It is a proven fact, moreover, that in times of confusion, the herd prefers servitude to disorder. Which is why those who behave like crazed nanny goats do not have leaders but great goatish assholes at their head. Something in this species must be contagious, since it is so common in the human herd to find someone who can lead the masses to the edge of the reef and, once there, make them jump into the water. Unless he decides to destroy a civilization, which is something he does fairly frequently.

Mario Vargas Llosa, The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto

First person hacked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2339005)

I say that if this assinine and completely useless attempt at increasing security goes through that the first person who gets their account hacked and reassigned to a terrorist is Larry Ellison!

Airport Flunky: "Insert card and present finger for scan please"

LE:"Ok, here ya go..."

*KLAXXON HORNS* *sounds of M16's being chambered*

LE: "what the fuck... I'm LARRY ELLISON! I'm a CEO! I'm not a wanted criminal... oh woe is me!"

I'm 110% against this thing... if it goes thru, I'm moving out of the country...

What Ellison fails to realize.. (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 11 years ago | (#2339011)

Is that you do not even NEED identification to travel on airlines. It's acutally ILLEGAL for them to refuse to let you fly if you don't provide ID.

Now.. most clerks will at first say 'but you have to sir'. But if you check with their supervisor, you will find that's not the case. FAA regulations clearly state what to do if a person doesn't have state-given identification.. and the only differences are in how they handle your baggage (making sure you are on the plane before putting your bag on the plane, in some cases, inspecting the bag thoroughly)

I can see it now: mandatory ID for flying. So the government knows who and where you are at all times. Next you'll need ID to cross state lines... or board a bus, eventually to buy groceries.

Unicard: Liberation Through Security (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2339012)

John Walker, founder of Autodesk, has had an insightful, if perhaps dystopian, essay [fourmilab.ch] [fourmilab.ch] on this topic on his web site [fourmilab.ch] [fourmilab.ch] for some time.

He describes a hypothetical ``Unicard'' (universal ID card) that one might see as an advanced version of the card Ellison proposes and the future society that might result from its implementation.


Threats to privacy are often seen as efforts launched by governments or large corporations, using their power to circumscribe individuals' rights. Yet often individuals voluntarily surrender their privacy for promises of security or, more frequently, pure convenience. Based on technologies already available or certain to appear within the next few years, this paper explores how much convenience could be gained, and how much privacy lost as these technologies enter the mainstream.

Read the essay, then reconsider Ellison's proposal. Right now, yes, we have near-universal identification cards, but we have lots of near-univeral cards, so no one organization has the complete picture--and the resulting complete control.

slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2339020)

slashdot is worse than the taliban.

Filters and ips bans and all kinds of opressive shit, if you're trying to make slashdot unusable it's working.

Foreigners (1)

DwySteve (521303) | more than 12 years ago | (#2339027)

Am I wrong, but weren't the people who hijacked the planes NOT citizens of the US? In any case, international flights are still a problem. Perhaps Oracle would like to do this on a worldwide level? What additional security does this provide? If this were expressed as a ratio of security gained against privacy lost, it'd be as close to zero as makes no odds....

Why Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2339028)

I have seen database systems that scale and perform much better than Oracle while being very reliable and much less maintenance. He is probably offering for free because he knows that his competitors stuff works better. Unless they had a massive bank of mirror systems to handle the load and even more admins, Oracle will probably crack under the load.
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