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NH Signs Bill That Rejects Federal Real ID

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i'm-thinking-we-scrap-the-country-and-start-over dept.

Privacy 231

jcatcw writes "New Hampshire is part of a trend to oppose the federal Real ID act. The governor this week signed a bill that forbids state agencies from complying with the controversial federal regulation. The Real ID law, first passed by Congress in 2005, currently requires that all state driver's licenses and other identification cards include a digital photograph and a bar code that can be scanned by electronic readers. Such a federally approved ID card or document would be required for people entering a federal building, nuclear power plant and commercial airplane. The New Hampshire bill, which labeled the Real ID Act as "contrary and repugnant" to the New Hampshire and U.S. Constitutions, was passed in the state Senate by a 24-0 vote in late May."

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Frist Post... (3, Interesting)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783517)

YAY New Hampshire!!!! You ROCK!!!!!! Now to get the 40-some states to do the same....

Re:Frist Post... (1)

Cedric Tsui (890887) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783743)

But would it matter at all?
I mean to say, what power does a state legislation have against a federal one? (honest question. I'm not American and don't know how the power hierarchy works)
Other than the fact that it's the state that makes the drivers licences, is there any meat behind this bill?

Re:Frist Post... (2, Insightful)

ZedmanAuk (52694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783827)

The Feds have no power over the issuance of IDs. It is not one of their powers in the US Constitution, and all powers not explicitly reserved for the Federal govt. in that document fall to the states or the people. They can only coerce or bribe the states to comply with the Real ID act by giving money or threatening that their residents would not be able to board planes or go into Federal buildings. I find it unlikely the Feds would be able to enforce this at all. Can you imagine airlines going along with an act that would force them to essentially close their entire operations in any state that does not comply with this law? Or essentially forcing the closure of all Federal buildings in New Hampshire (and the other 12 states that have rejected this law).

The Real ID act as it stands is dead in the water. It would have only worked if all 50 states signed on, and since a dozen have rejected it, there is no way it can continue.

Now if only my home state of California would reject it too. But they have no problem with it since California IDs already comply with almost all of the requirements of the Act.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#19785011)

The Feds have no power over the issuance of IDs.

Sure they do. The Original US Constitution explicitly entrusts Congress with (1) regulation of interstate commerce, (2) mediation of differences between the several states, (3) regulation of immigration, and (4) regulation of the militia. It then further REQUIRES Congress to conduct a decadial census, AND allows for the collection of income taxes.

Congress could require that every man, woman, and child be given an ID card, of a certain standard, that no other form of government-issued ID is valid identification for anything federally regulated, AND that any state which issues an identification card not complying with the standard forfeits all federal aid.

'course, if they did that, they'd likely get unelected real quick. Which is why they don't.

Re:Frist Post... (5, Informative)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783913)

what power does a state legislation have against a federal one?

In theory the State power should be at least equal within the State, we have a Federal system.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalism [wikipedia.org] In reality our States have lost alot of autonomy to the Federal Government because of abuses of the Interstate commerce clause.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_com merce_clause [wikipedia.org] I hope that New Hampshire sticks it out, other States follow, and States Rights gains back some ground. But it didn't work when the Fed wanted a drinking age of 21, and forced States to adopt it, even though it is supposed to be outside the realm of the Federal government. Withholding funding for highways and such is an all too powerful lever the Feds have over the States. New Hampshire might hold out because they are small enough to get away with no Fed support of their highways and they have alot of "Free Staters" who want to secede from the US completely over things like shrinking liberties, and global policing. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1 555119,00.html [time.com]

Re:Frist Post... (0)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784177)

In reality our States have lost alot of autonomy to the Federal Government because of abuses of the Interstate commerce clause.

A lot of the abuses of the interstate commerce clause rose up in regards to state oppression of black Americans; let's be honest, while I agree the Federal government is overreaching, they had good reason to begin doing it. There was no other way to stop state governments from oppressing a sizeable chunk of their population otherwise.

Re:Frist Post... (2, Interesting)

arminw (717974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784219)

......Withholding funding for highways and such is an all too powerful lever .......

That is also limited by the fact that the money all comes from the citizens of the states to begin with. If a state would enact a law that withholds all taxes of every kind collected from its citizens, especially income tax, there is nothing the Feds could do short of taking over that state's government by military force or other draconian measures. That might be pretty tough for a big important state, such as California. The whole idea of how far the interstate commerce clause can be stretched might have to be revisited by the SCOTUS.

The Feds rightfully regulate commerce and the ID requirements for airplane passengers is lawful. Since a passport is already part of my traveling kit anyway, I simply use that even when traveling within the country. I have never shown any airport guard my license to drive a car. Why not simply forget forcing the states into issuing "approved" IDs and just require a passport for anyone who wants to fly between states? It is now needed to go to Canada or Mexico. Driver's licenses are just that, for driving motor vehicles, not for identification.

The politicians in Washington obviously have not thought this ID thing through very well. Of course many, if not most countries have some sort of uniform ID card system, so maybe a passport or some variation thereof can serve that officially. This real ID thing is a tempest in a teapot.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784403)

Why not simply forget forcing the states into issuing "approved" IDs and just require a passport for anyone who wants to fly between states?

Because passports should not be required for travel within a country. A passport is government authorization to travel, combined with the government vouching for the identity and trustworthiness of the traveler. There's no reason to require that for travel within the country someone is already a citizen of.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784433)

That is also limited by the fact that the money all comes from the citizens of the states to begin with. If a state would enact a law that withholds all taxes of every kind collected from its citizens, especially income tax, there is nothing the Feds could do short of taking over that state's government by military force or other draconian measures. That might be pretty tough for a big important state, such as California. The whole idea of how far the interstate commerce clause can be stretched might have to be revisited by the SCOTUS.

I'm sure all the people working for the federal government in said state will be happy to hear that they've been laid off because of their state government's extreme obstinance. Military action won't be required.

Re:Frist Post... (4, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784555)

Why not simply forget forcing the states into issuing "approved" IDs and just require a passport for anyone who wants to fly between states?

Right to travel:

In U.S. v Guest 383 U.S. 745 (1966): "It is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized." Shapiro v Thompson 394 U.S. 618 (1969), Justice Stewart: "it is a right broadly assertable(sic) against private interference as well as governmental action. Like the right of association, ... it is a virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution to us all."(*) The Articles of Confederation defined a right to travel; It may be that the right was presumed to be inherent; if so, the authors of the constitution could also have thought it redundant to make it explicit.

(*) Despite this assertion, the constitution says very little about the right to travel, other than to ensure that federal legislators have a right to go legislate as per article 1, section 6.

Once the government starts saying "You can travel only if you meet the following conditions" (passport, ID, money in pocket, good reputation, etc.), they have set up a coercive situation where equality has been sundered. This is one of the key arguments against the underlying premise of RealID, as well as the no-fly list and similar non-judicial restrictions on travel and modes of travel. What you propose, the limitation of travel from state to state requiring a passport (in your concept, just by plane, but generally in any case), is a severe limitation upon the ability to travel.

And I would sadly note that as recently as just a few decades ago, the very idea was unthinkable; it is even encoded into the art of the day. In Tom Clancy's "Hunt for Red October", the first officer, bent upon defecting to the US, asks the captain if one could travel "state to state" without papers in the US; the captain assures him that is the case, and the first officer, a product of the Soviet government's implementation of just such restrictions, reacts in pleased wonder.

It seems that almost any war showing conditions in Europe will offer a tension-laced scene where someone's papers are demanded — people used to be quick to recognize this as an abuse of power wielded for the sake of establishing and maintaining that power, and for no other reason. Orwell wrote (in 1984): "The purpose of power... is power" — he was cautionary.

Now we see travel limitations proposed sincerely in the previous post, as if this actually was a good idea. I find this more than a little depressing, and frightening.

Re:Frist Post... (3, Informative)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784737)

If the constitution is silent on the matter, it's safe to assume that the feds lack that power - all the constitution does is assert what powers the feds have. It's unfortunate that it's been turned on its head to imply that the feds can do anything not explicitly denied - that's our role.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784859)

If a state would enact a law that withholds all taxes of every kind collected from its citizens, especially income tax, there is nothing the Feds could do short of taking over that state's government by military force or other draconian measures.

Such a law would be massively unconstitutional, as the Constitution (amended) allows the Feds to collect income tax without state interference. Nice idea, but totally unworkable.

Re:Frist Post... (2, Insightful)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784371)

Of course, there was considerable abuse of state power that had to be stopped--the Southern states enslaved blacks, denied them civil rights, refused to prosecute as murderers those who lynched them, and every single time the federal government tried to intervene, Southern whites complained about "states rights".

Re:Frist Post... (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784587)

Of course, there was considerable abuse of state power that had to be stopped--the Southern states enslaved blacks, denied them civil rights, refused to prosecute as murderers those who lynched them, and every single time the federal government tried to intervene, Southern whites complained about "states rights".
I'm not defending slavery here, but let me just say that technically speaking, prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, the slave states were not technically abusing their powers at all, but were, in fact, exercising those powers as had been granted them when they had agreed to be bound by the Constitution. In fact, I think most constitutional experts will agree that just about everything Lincoln did once the Civil War started, including the Emancipation Proclamation, was in fact in technical violation of both word and spirit of the Constitution. The fact that Lincoln was right and moral to do so, and even more importantly that the Union won the war, has made us forget that the Constitution was pretty bent up in the act of ending slavery.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19785073)

the slave states were not technically abusing their powers at all

That's where you and I differ. Enslaving human beings is an abuse of the law, even if the law specifically gives no one the right to interfere with you.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783917)

In theory, the federal government's primary power is in national defense and regulating interstate trade, and still most anything that they do is justified in those terms, although often times its a stretch. Those rights not specifically given to the federal government are reserved for the individual states. If the federal side tries to assume those reserved powers, the states can take the federal government to court, which are supposed to judge how well that law adheres to the constitution.

Of course, since the Civil War, and particularly since the depression era, the federal powers have extended far beyond this. One of the more common methods is by denying states funding for not following a particular idea; this is how we now have 21 year drinking age across the country, because Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) lobbied congress that it should be that way, and since alcohol is bad and we must think of the 16 and 18 year old children, they agreed, and told the states they had to agree. Of course, they had no right to do so, but they did have rights over the interstate highway system, and then denied states highway funding until they fell in line.

Ultimately, what will happen here is probably that it will go to court, eventually get to the supreme court, where they SHOULD decide whether or not it falls under the 'regulating interstate trade' clause. Of course it will probably come down to idealogical concerns rather than a question of whether or not its legal for congress to do so.

I hope that helps, and for the record, I'm not a political scientist or anything, just a (hopefully) informed citizen.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784015)

I mean to say, what power does a state legislation have against a federal one? (honest question. I'm not American and don't know how the power hierarchy works)

If the question is physical access to a federal office building or federally-regulated facilities like a nuclear power plant or a commercial airline in interstate commerce, the answer is "no power at all."

Re:Frist Post... (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784533)

The most Congress can do is to tie certain kinds of Federal funding to their bill. That's what was done with that other idiotic initiative; No Child Left Behind. In that case, the States bit, but it seems that the days when the States feel any desire to co-operate with Congress on every half-assed idea are gone. I think a lot of state governments are feeling like this is just way to intrusive into their rights, and are done handing over to Congress any more of their powers. I doubt they give that big a damn about the constitutionality of the law.

Re:Frist Post... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19783745)

So states have the right to nullify federal law?

It seems like we had that argument in the 1800s, and it didnt turn out to well for a group of states.

Interesting... (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783825)

If all 50 states pass such laws, yet their representatives in the national legislature won't vote to dismantle the REAL ID act....what happens?

The Federal Government is nothing without the states, especially when the military (and lots o' national guard units) is stuck cab-deep in the Iraqi sand.

This will not end well...

Re:Interesting... (1)

jfandre (530404) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784485)

There's also article V of the constitution. 2/3's of the states can call for a constitutional convention to propose amendments to the constitution, then you need 3/4's of the state legislatures to ratify the proposed amendments. This gives the states the ability to have the final say, albeit an extreme one.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784619)

The question put to the Union during the Civil War was whether or not states could secede. Of course, the whole thing was fundamentally a states right question, and what came out of it was that the states didn't quite have the powers that the Jeffersonian model of the republic had given them. That didn't mean that the states became completely subservient to the federal government, and that's why bills like this one are tied to funding, which Congress hopes will be enough of a carrot for the states not to kick up a big fuss. With elections next year, I'm not too sure how willing Congress is going to be to keep this fight going at the moment, so I suspect that Real ID will probably disappear or at best be put on the backburner.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

Main Gauche (881147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784103)

"YAY New Hampshire!!!! You ROCK!!!!!! Now to get the 40-some states to do the same...."

Had you been willing to settle for Sceond Post, you'd have had time to perform the mental gymnastic of computing 50-1.

Re:Frist Post... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784575)

Had you been paying attention to the news, you would realize there are fewer than 50 remaining to be so encouraged. :)

Live Free or Die. (4, Insightful)

The_Steel_General (196801) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783543)

What else can you say but that.

TSG

I can say... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19783589)

...that's great but who would want to live in New Hampshire anyway?

I mean really?

Re:I can say... (0, Offtopic)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783663)

Given a choice between NH and its southern neighbor, NH in a heartbeat.

Re:I can say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784067)

Jimmy James

Right now he's probably busy keeping the damn cows off his property.

Re:Live Free or Die. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19783633)

Enjoy it while it lasts. With Taxachusetts forcing their residents to flee to New Hampshire to avoid their stupid health care law, it won't take long for the corrupting influence of Taxachusetts to corrupt New Hampshire until they'll just roll over for this law.

(And before anyone points out that Taxachusetts also claims to be taking a stand against this, try actually reading the resolution. It basically reads "since we'd have to pay for it, we're not doing it". Which is Taxachusetts general policy on things - see the Big Dig, which federal taxes paid for - not Taxachusetts. Not to mention that, as far as I can tell, that bill went nowhere.)

Re:Live Free or Die. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784049)

The screws on the licence plate, under certain circumstances of dirt, resemble an "O", so the motto becomes

OLive Free or DieO

This is a life-threatening allergy of which I'd not been aware. ;)

Re:Live Free or Die. (4, Informative)

almeida (98786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784931)

Well, you could say the full quote. Personally, I think the second half is more powerful, but that might just be because I'm so used to seeing the first half.

"Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."
- General John Stark

What's going on here? (2, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783547)

If so many states now oppose Real ID, how is it that it passed into law in the first place?

Re:What's going on here? (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783627)

If so many states now oppose Real ID, how is it that it passed into law in the first place?

Indeed, a sensible question about how this country is run. I think it's fair to assume you're not American right?

Re:What's going on here? (4, Interesting)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783815)

If so many states now oppose Real ID, how is it that it passed into law in the first place?
The house passed it 261-161 and in the Senate was attached to a war funding and tsunami relief bill which of course passed 100-0.

What's up with bill attachment anyway? (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784567)

posting without karma bonus due to obvious off-topicness.. how does that whole "attached to bill" stuff work anyway? I couldn't find anything via either wikipedia or google... I may be using the wrong search terms.

I know it's at least not unique to the U.S. - the U.K. has similar dealings.. I'm not sure about 'mainland EU'.. I do know that a few years back there was a ruccus about some computer/tech thing being on the agenda for an EU whatsits -agriculture- meeting and I thought "wtf??" back then, too.. I presume it to be similar.

I'm thinking that sort of thing needs to stop - but there must be *some* reason the whole structure is allowed to exist.. Any good links with info? Or direct info if you (reader) happen to be initimately familiar with the matter.

TIA

Re:What's up with bill attachment anyway? (4, Informative)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784665)

You can read about rider bills [wikipedia.org] on wikipedia if you want.

Interestingly enough, the Real ID act is given as an example of a rider =P

Re:What's up with bill attachment anyway? (1)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784987)

The reason it can be done is that as long as it's not in violation of the constitution (and even then, it's just unenforcable), Congress can put any content they want into any bill. The committee chairs in each house have massive discretion to add or remove irrelevant legislation from "must pass" bills. They can be removed by an amendment in the full House or Senate, but that's difficult.

Re:What's going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784815)

...that just leads to more questions!

Why do my senators pass bills with riders?

I've worked at a big Initech-ish (and heavily political) company, and whenever somebody tried something like "ok, so we're going with A and B and C", I'd say "stop! no! those are completely independent issues". After a little while, people stop even trying to pull crap like this, because they know it's not going to get past me.

Are my senators not smart enough to do this? Or not brave enough? Is it so they can get their own crap riders passed next week? Or do they sleep through the description part? Are they getting bribes^H^H^H^H^H^Hdonations to vote on this crap?

I really don't understand American politics.

"Now for the vote on the Tsunami Relief and War Funding and RealID bill..." "Point of order, sir? Go to hell. Give us one bill at a time, and then we'll vote."

Re:What's going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19783817)

The way this can happen is because of the passing of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Prior to that, Senators were sent to Washington, DC by the State Legislators. The point of them was to represent/protect the interests and sovereignty of the states. They, for the most part would have voted the same way that state legislatures would have voted.
Today they are unchained from that and are essentially demagogues that must only appeal to the masses of the entire state every 6 years to stay in power. In the meantime they can appeal to moneyed special interests groups. The average attention span of a US voter is about 2 weeks, so the Senators elected for 6 years rarely have to worry about accountability.
Cheers!

Re:What's going on here? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784121)

If so many states now oppose Real ID, how is it that it passed into law in the first place?

Your question makes me believe that you still are under the impression that there is a direct connection between what the public desires and what laws get passed in Washington. I can assure you this is not the case.

Re:What's going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784157)

Bush.

Re:What's going on here? (2, Insightful)

sadler121 (735320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784383)

Because we fucked up royally when we let senators be elected directly by the people and not by the states. This took away power from the state and gave it to the Fed's. What we need to do is stop electing senators directly and let the states appoint them. The people already have their house, it's called the House of Representatives. Now, more then ever, the states need their voice back.

They're right twice (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783577)

[...] other identification cards include a digital photograph and a bar code that can be scanned by electronic readers.

Wow! a *barcode* and a *digital photo*? these have *got* to be the most unfalsifiable digital features. This is scary secure!

Seriously though, even if NH legislators were pro Real-ID (which apparently they aren't on moral grounds, thankfully), they had to oppose it just because it's so technologically retarded that it would bring exactly no added security whatsoever.

Re:They're right twice (1)

Servo (9177) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783779)

More to the point, its so technologically retarded that it won't add any security AND will cost millions of State money to implement because its not just an incremental upgrade. I'm a NH resident and am very happy to see this signed into law.

Re:They're right twice (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783859)

As someone born and raised in NH, I'm giving 3 cheers to the NH legislature on this one: NH isn't a state that can afford to spend money on such silly ventures as this one (not because everyone's poor, but because the state actually has something close to the Libertarian ideals).

Re:They're right twice (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784099)

You are right, but you miss the real point of REAL ID:

A single Federal database aggregating all the personal info they could ever want. Hence the barcode is a database key to the record here and does not need to be secure (since you get a record with a picture pulled up and can compare to the person (also gets the weight, eye color, hair color, age and height, and probably fingerprint and DNA samples at some point in the future).

In fact, the plastic ID here is really not even needed. If you had a barcode tattooed on your wrist or even tell them your name and number, this would work just as well.

Re:They're right twice (3, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784641)

If you had a barcode tattooed on your wrist or even tell them your name and number, this would work just as well.

The optimum locations for physically carried ID were worked out some time ago. Either the forehead (see The NT's "Revelations" section, Hindu "caste" marks, etc), or the left chest (see Germany, ca. 1940's, and the "ID" the Jews had to carry.)

However, the RealID legislation has murky verbiage that allows for unspecified technology to be used to carry the ID electronically. Odds strongly favor this being RFID or something similar. So no need for it to be on your body, per se; it could be in your body just as easily as it could be on it, or on a card or similar external carrier. And of course, this negates the need to "present" your ID; it'll be read when you're within X distance of any client that wants to know anything in particular about you.

In Canada (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19783595)

state driver's licenses and other identification cards include a digital photograph and a bar code that can be scanned by electronic readers


Provincial driver's licenses have been like that for quite a few years now in Canada. It has had no effect whatsoever on my freedom or privacy.

Owning a car is another matter altogether however, there is no end to the ways that the state and its corrupt law enforcement officers can harass you if you own a car.

Re:In Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19783941)

Actually, now that I think about it they have had a magnetic stripe (like bank cards) since way back as well. Again, no effect on my privacy and freedom. The only effect I can think of is expediency of roadside stops.

The more poignant question here is if a "Real" ID is a driver's license, then what of those who do not drive? It is a creepy indicator of our car culture that definitive identification is tied to automobiles. So if I do not have a drivers license am I not a "Real" person?

Like I said, owning a motor vehicle is the best way to allow the state to harass you. I do not own a car myself (thank god) but have a drivers license for employment purposes. Want to drop off the radar? (Pun intended.) Lose the car.

It is a amazing the freedom that not owning a car allows. It seems counterintuitive, but since I gave up my last car I have never felt as free as I do now. The automobile is a ball and chain to the individual and an albatross around the neck of humanity.

(oddly enough, when I checked out appropriateness of the albatross idiom in this context I found the following ironic example: http://www.bartleby.com/59/4/albatrossaro.html [bartleby.com] )

Re:In Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19783945)

state driver's licenses and other identification cards include a digital photograph and a bar code that can be scanned by electronic readers


Provincial driver's licenses have been like that for quite a few years now in Canada. It has had no effect whatsoever on my freedom or privacy.

How much affect has it had on your security? I imagine terrorists must run screaming from the power of the bar code.

Re:In Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784147)

How much affect has it had on your security? I imagine terrorists must run screaming from the power of the bar code.


Rural (and most other) Canadians have no fear whatsoever of terrorism. (No it is not because we are your neighbors. - I'll leave it to you to figure out why.) Modern ID cards have nothing to do with national security and everything to do with the efficiency and automation of motor vehicle regulation. Our police vehicles have been computerised for many years now.

It used to be a huge hassle to get a drivers license, with the new cards it takes only minutes, hardly any waiting in line and you get the card on the spot. Similarly when you are stopped for speeding or whatever, the police have instant access to your records, they needn't type a thing in, and you can be pretty sure there is a GUID in either the bar code or magnetic stripe or both to ensure unique results.

Now, the big drawback for me is that I have drivers licenses from three different provinces in my wallet right now, with only the one for the province I currently reside in being valid. As I move around a lot, it is a bit of a pain to get a new drivers license every time I change my province of residence and pay the fee again. The new systems and modern cards make it much faster, but I still think we'd be better off with national drivers licenses and health cards. It is a pain to have to update them every time I move.

Terrorists are irrelevant. Trying to improve the efficiency of notoriously sluggish government offices is most beneficial however.

I think the feds in the US must have tried to sell this the wrong way if they tied it to terrorism and national security, what a crock!

Modern ID cards just make sense for more efficient government regulation (as impossible as that may sound). We are stuck with it regardless, it might as well be modern.

Would you prefer if your bank card was paper with no magnetic stripe and you had to wait in line for every withdrawal and deposit like in the good old days? (It drives me nuts when someone insists on updating their bankbook at the ATM and holding up the line... ffs! its an ATM dammit! They'll mail you a statement!)

Provincial service kiosks are common in Canada, just slide your card in like the bank machine to register a vehicle, renew your license, update your healthcare info etc. etc... I would have assumed that the US was as modern in this respect, usually the US is a step or two ahead of us on stuff like that because of the greater wealth there.

You have no idea (1)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784077)

I bet you have no idea how many databases, private and public know your driver's license number and can cross-reference tons of other information. Just because you haven't had any privacy problems yet, it doesn't mean your information is actually private or not being used for market research.

Re:You have no idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784273)

I bet you have no idea how many databases, private and public know your driver's license number and can cross-reference tons of other information. Just because you haven't had any privacy problems yet, it doesn't mean your information is actually private or not being used for market research.


And how does a barcode, photo and magnetic stripe on my drivers license change that? (Besides making it a little more efficient and costing the taxpayer less. You know it would be done anyway.)

I don't see any Pepsi logos on the police cruisers yet, but hey, I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility! Its just that their sponsors don't actually want to be known, unlike Pepsi.

Don't get me wrong. I smoke marijuana and have zero respect for the corrupt bought and paid for law of our nations. I just save my paranoia for when it is actually needed. (P.S. marijuana does not cause paranoia, the threat of being busted and jailed for enjoying a harmless toke does however.)

I haven't paid income tax in over four years. Not so much as a boo from the law.

The last time I saw the law it was because a friend parked a car in a shared laneway while visiting me in the city. The neighbor, who was a friend of the pigs, reported it as a domestic dispute. I was awakened at 1:00 am (still a bit stoned) to FOUR cruisers and SIX cops in front of the house, one with GUN DRAWN!

Moral of the story: the automobile is the liability to your freedom and privacy, not a modern ID card.

[IP address changed for this post to defeat Slashdot's ridiculous 30 minute post flood interval]

Re:You have no idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784385)

I don't see any Pepsi logos on the police cruisers yet, but hey, I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility!

Don't worry - Massachusetts is leading the way on that front [boston.com] .

Re:In Canada (1)

parasonic (699907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784165)

Provincial driver's licenses have been like that for quite a few years now in Canada. It has had no effect whatsoever on my freedom or privacy.

Owning a car is another matter altogether however, there is no end to the ways that the state and its corrupt law enforcement officers can harass you if you own a car.


Step 1: Mandate barcode and digital ID
Step 2: Mandate federal database of such info
Step 3: Mandate ISO7816 smartcard chip to be placed in every ID (can't be accessed wirelessly!)
Step 4: Require all federal buildings to authenticate the person with data stored on the smartcard
Step 5: Mandate states to require SSN, birthdate, birth place, a fingerprint, and other biometric data to be stored on the card
Step 6: Mandate federal database of such info
Step 7: Make it illegal to enter any federal building, register a car, withdraw funds from a bank without such a card
Step 8: Require all future ID's to implement RFID and/or ISO7816
Step 9: Allow major credit card companies to place card numbers within the ID
Step 10: ???
Step 11: Profit


At this point, the government has built a database of a great deal of info on every person, and every person is virtually compelled to carry the card because it is a convenience and becomes habit and soon necessity. If you lose your card (or just as likely, it is stolen), your life is gone because it's in the hand of an ID thief. Law enforcement knows too much about you before you are so much as a suspect of any crime.

Just keep pushing the envelope a little further each time. Eventually, it gets out of hands. Those who have rejected the Real ID Act have looked a few steps into the future. You should, too.

I don't know about you in Canada, but in the U.S., I sure value my freedoms and privacy.

Re:In Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784357)

Step 1: Mandate barcode and digital ID
Step 2: Mandate federal database of such info
Step 3: Mandate ISO7816 smartcard chip to be placed in every ID (can't be accessed wirelessly!)
Step 4: Require all federal buildings to authenticate the person with data stored on the smartcard
Step 5: Mandate states to require SSN, birthdate, birth place, a fingerprint, and other biometric data to be stored on the card
Step 6: Mandate federal database of such info
Step 7: Make it illegal to enter any federal building, register a car, withdraw funds from a bank without such a card
Step 8: Require all future ID's to implement RFID and/or ISO7816
Step 9: Allow major credit card companies to place card numbers within the ID
Step 10: ???
Step 11: Profit

At this point, the government has built a database of a great deal of info on every person, and every person is virtually compelled to carry the card because it is a convenience and becomes habit and soon necessity. If you lose your card (or just as likely, it is stolen), your life is gone because it's in the hand of an ID thief. Law enforcement knows too much about you before you are so much as a suspect of any crime.

Just keep pushing the envelope a little further each time. Eventually, it gets out of hands. Those who have rejected the Real ID Act have looked a few steps into the future. You should, too.

I don't know about you in Canada, but in the U.S., I sure value my freedoms and privacy.


Do you have a credit card? I do not. Do you own a car? I do not. Those are real threats to provacy and freedom. A modern drivers license is not.

Efficient government regulation is not a worry. Governments that are bought and paid for by corporations are.

I can guarantee that I enjoy greater privacy in Canada than you do in the US and my drivers license has nothing to do with it.

The fact that I do not own a car of my own and live in a rural area have a lot more to do with it.

Another factor is that in a rural community, you get used to your neighbors knowing when you last farted and what it smelled like. It is sometimes annoying but most often reassuring. The trick is in being able to trust your neighbors throughout a caring community. Perhaps that is lost in the US?

To take it to the extreme I have actually advocated the implantation of a full gps digital ID in all citizens at birth. Why? Then the law has no excuse about the selective and discriminatory law enforcement tactics they use to achieve the political goals of their sponsors. It would increase the chances of equitable law enforcement. But what I have suggested and what you describe would never happen for that very reason, you need not worry.

Law enforcement in a capitalist democracy cannot afford to be a transparent process.

[IP address changed for this post to defeat Slashdot's ridiculous 30 minute post flood interval]

Canadian Government != U.S. Government (4, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784233)

Two points: First, the physical changes to the drivers' licenses were only the tip of the Real ID iceberg; the bigger part of it was a big database that would contain all the same information as what's stored on the cards, and probably a lot more. This is where the increase in security came from (at least, according to the system's proponents). Instead of just examining the ID, someone at a terminal with access to the Giant Federal Database 'o Fun could swipe your card and see your photo and other information pop up on screen. So in order to "forge" an ID card and use it to get into a Federal Building, you'd not only have to create the physical card, but you'd also have to hack into the database and update the information there.

Obviously, this database thing does not go over well with a lot of people. The Federal government has a piss-poor history of IT and information security. The whole place, at least on the civilan/unclassified side, leaks like a sieve and loses computers and data at a terrifying rate. The last thing most people want is to be put into a national 'one stop shop' for stalking, ID theft, unwanted "investigation," data mining, etc.

Second: Although Canada and the U.S. are alike in many ways, they're not the same. Attitudes, particularly in regards to government, are quite different. What people find acceptable in Canada -- and what may actually work in Canada -- are not necessarily the same things that will work in the U.S. If you, as a Canadian, say that you have a similar Giant Central Database, and your government uses it responsibly and the whole thing doesn't devolve into a Brazil [imdb.com] ian bureaucratic nightmare, I'll take your word for it. However, that gives me no faith at all that a similar system wouldn't be an absolute terror, were it implemented here. Maybe you have more responsible leaders. Maybe we're paranoid. Maybe the water in D.C. is contaiminated with Brain Slug larvae. Who knows; but I don't trust my government further than I can throw it, and nothing I've seen recently has encouraged me to re-evaluate that decision.

This is good and all.. (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783639)

But at what point will the Federal Government try to link federal funds & REAL ID complaince?

I wonder if that's something that can be done administratively, or has to be legislated into existence.

Re:This is good and all.. (1)

pi_rules (123171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783863)

I wonder if that's something that can be done administratively, or has to be legislated into existence.


The legislature controls taxes and spending. I believe this topic is usually covered in most grade schools.

Re:This is good and all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784285)

I believe this topic is usually covered in most grade schools.

Not anymore. Schools replaced "Civics" with "Social Studies," which is basically a preparatory course in Political Correctness, a long time ago.

Civility is in decline in the US (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784573)

"Not anymore. Schools replaced "Civics" with "Social Studies," which is basically a preparatory course in Political Correctness, a long time ago."

Given the wide use of the term RTFM and the popularity of nasty reality shows in recent years, there's little danger of the country being taken over by "politically correct" forces for the foreseeable future.

Re:Civility is in decline in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784867)

Given the wide use of the term RTFM and the popularity of nasty reality shows in recent years, there's little danger of the country being taken over by "politically correct" forces for the foreseeable future.

Oh no no no no. "Politically correct" has already taken over. Telling some lowbrow to RTFM or rubbernecking the petty squables of some trailer park denizens is perfectly acceptable for the PC elites to do. Being snide to those beneath your ivory-tower annointed station in life may be rude but it is nonetheless "PC" just so long as you don't do it to a member of any protected class.

Taxes paid by NE Benefits Received by NE (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784057)

But at what point will the Federal Government try to link federal funds & REAL ID compliance?

New England pays far more federal taxes than it receives in federal aid. Leaving the union would be a welcome move, as we could stop paying for all the federal welfare to the southern and mid-western states. If you want to read a very amusing (and profanity-laced) rant about this, go see FucktheSouth.com [fuckthesouth.com] . The last few winters, Bush has slashed the federal home heating assistance programs; we've got people old people freezing to death because they can't afford to heat their homes. Meanwhile, you'll note that programs for midwestern corn and livestock farmers are doing quite well...

You don't understand how pissed off New England has been since 2000. New Hampshire is full of people who *really* don't like anyone telling them what they can/can't do, and they're pretty well armed. Maine's geographically IN Canada anyway, Vermont's voted to impeach Bush more times than I can count. In Massachusetts, residents run the political spectrum, but we're also the ones who started [wikipedia.org] the War of Independence, bitches.

Fuckin' A Right! (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784301)

Just about every point in that rant is correct in my opinion.

Obviously, not everyone in the South is a leeching hypocritical moralizing douchebag...but right on...

2nd VT Republic (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784353)

We not only vote on impeachment issues, but secession as well. The Second Vermont Republic information found here: http://www.vermontrepublic.org/ [vermontrepublic.org]

I was all for NE continuing to assist poorer parts of the country until the NE Dairy compact BS. Like they can't subsidize small dairy farms in NE while pumping all those subsidies into the Midwest so grain can rot in the silos? WTF?

Then again, farming in general is a pretty big deal for my family and I.

As for N.H., I generally prefer they stay on their side of the border... and they seem to agree, so we are all fine.

BVT O.N.E. 05401

Regards.

Re:Taxes paid by NE Benefits Received by NE (0, Flamebait)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784425)

In Massachusetts, residents run the political spectrum

From what? Liberal Republican to Liberal Democrat?

Re:Taxes paid by NE Benefits Received by NE (1)

thornomad (1095985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784711)

From what? Liberal Republican to Liberal Democrat?

Don't forget the people that summoned enough votes (s majority, in fact) to elect Mitt Romney.

Re:Taxes paid by NE Benefits Received by NE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784767)

New England pays far more federal taxes than it receives in federal aid.
If only that were true, but it isn't, so that long rant is almost entirely off base. First off, half the New England states receive more federal spending than they pay in taxes. (Those are Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island.) The rest do indeed provide more but receive less.

However, when you consider population density, this makes perfect sense. States with high population density require less federal spending on things like roads and other projects. If you factor in population density and land area, you'll discover that New England is really on parity with spending. It just has a lot of people in a small area and can afford to do things cheaper than less dense areas of the nation.

Then there are things like the Big Dig, a Massachusetts road improvement project paid for by federal funds. Not only was it unnecessary (essentially it took an existing highway and moved it underground), it also was poorly constructed, where glued on concrete slabs fell and killed a woman. (Really - glued.) Of course, picking on Massachusetts is easy: there's also those Massachusetts laws requiring citizens to buy insurance. (The most recent is health insurance.) No one from Massachusetts has any right to complain about tax burden, considering Taxachusett's history. If you want a lower tax burden, lower your damned taxes, idiots!

But in any case, Fuck New England. It doesn't do anything useful. The Midwest feeds the nation, the South keeps values, the West Coast does all the technological development, and New England just bitches about useless things.

Re:Taxes paid by NE Benefits Received by NE (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784883)

The Midwest feeds the nation, the South keeps values

South has a fair amount of food growing, too. Not to mention two major ports, and when the expansions are complete, the 2nd biggest oil refinery in the US -- in other words, making your gasoline. You can also see that the "poor" states tend to give more:

http://www.catalogueforphilanthropy.org/cfp/db/gen erosity.php?year=2004 [cataloguef...thropy.org]

New Hampshire is ranked 50th based on how much they have versus how much they give. I'm actually kind of surprised; given the people I know in New Jersey, I figured it would be dead last.

Cotton, oranges, peanuts (try and avoid all food with peanut products...).

One of the reasons other states tend to use up more "federal aid": New England has relatively high property values and costs of living, so all the poor people are better off elsewhere. A few generations of that, and it's no wonder. You don't have the many welfare recipients because, y'know, you basically drove them out with high cost of living.

Believe me, there are just as many people who would gladly do without New England in the "poor" part of the country as there are people in New England who think they'd be better off without the rest of us.

(And, just to be a bit of an asshole here to go along with that stupid rant: We tried to leave once, asshole. You sent an army to keep us.)

Re:This is good and all.. (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784143)

Considering that the Federal funds originate in the states, that is not much of an issue. A state can declare that it will collect all taxes itself and will pass it on to the Federal government, then take its sweet time to do so - passing it on I mean. Many states that appear to be net receivers of Federal subsidies aren't really, they only appear to be so, since goods that flow through are not accounted for. The few states that really are net receivers of dole are of course in a weak position, but could still align themselves with a bigger brother in exchange for direct aid from that brother, cutting the Feds out. In Canada, that is Alberta's favourite threat. The other one is to threaten to start its own police force and kick the Mounties out. That will put thousands of Federal employees and police officers out of work. So when the AB government declares that 'Alberta will not enforce it, since we don't want to harass middle aged farmers with this...', it spells instant doom to a law. It appears that some US state governments have clued in, but the Feds still haven't woken up to it...

Re:This is good and all.. (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784437)

States can declare anything they want to, but do you think that many companies -- particularly those with federal contracts or a presence in multiple states -- will actually stop sending tax money directly to the feds? I wish they would, but in my opinion few corporate executives have both the proper political inclination and the spine to stand up to threats from the feds.

Re:This is good and all.. (2, Interesting)

bender647 (705126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784255)

But at what point will the Federal Government try to link federal funds & REAL ID complaince?

Like they link seat belt law compliance and federal highway funding?

New Hampshire doesn't care. Apparently they are the only state that has refused to pass a law telling adults they have to buckle up so that they can get their share of the federal money.

Re:This is good and all.. (1)

Agripa (139780) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784603)

I do not have a reference to the court case but I remember reading that federal funds may only be linked to state laws insofar as they have a direct connection with the regulated activity. Federal highway funds for instance may be linked to drunk driving laws, seatbelt laws, and speed limits but may not be linked to activities that do not involve driving.

Like many others in this discussion, I agree that the federal government has misused the interstate commerce clause and the tenth amendment.

give me a break (1, Insightful)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783733)

I have NO idea why everyone is against this - it is NOT a big deal almost every modern country has good ID cards - I for one have so many forms of ID I can hardly keep them straight - passport, drivers license, CAC card, social security, voters registration, and three different work ID's - my fingerprints and retina are on file in who knows how many places - and yet with all that I STILL have to fill out the same stupid forms every time I visit a Doctor - At this point just stick a freaking chip in me please or give me ONE ID card !!!!!

Re:give me a break (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19783823)

I think ID cards are such a good idea that I'm going to get at least 5 or 6 different ones !!

Re:give me a break (3, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783839)

I have NO idea why everyone is against this - it is NOT a big deal almost every modern country has good ID cards -

Funny, all of them are not totalitarian and their populations have rights? Why is everyone so against it here?

At this point just stick a freaking chip in me please or give me ONE ID card !!!!!

Which is kinda the point of REAL ID. It can replace your passport, drivers license and possibly SS card. Unfortunately, people are so afraid that Federal agents are suddenly going to burst out of every crevice and start asking "Papers, please!" that they oppose the IDea. They are afraid that somehow, carrying one card instead of several, will keep them from doing things like exercising free speech, freely assemble, carry a firearm or who knows what else. They are afraid that this ID card will take away all of their rights. How? Don't ask me. Why will it happen here when it will not happen in every other country with a national ID standard? Can't tell you.

Mods:
Before you mod me down, why not post a reply instead and tell me why I'm wrong or answer my questions. I seriously want to know why the hang up with a national ID standard. (besides, down-modding because you disagree is against the guidelines anyway).

Re:give me a break (2, Insightful)

shamborfosi (902021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783887)

I posted a link to an article which lays out the argument more fully, but here's a short answer: It is going to cost a lot of money ($11 billion) and does nothing to improve security. In fact, it creates a single point of failure for id theft.

Re:give me a break (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783943)

posted a link to an article which lays out the argument more fully, but here's a short answer: It is going to cost a lot of money ($11 billion) and does nothing to improve security. In fact, it creates a single point of failure for id theft.

That's it? It's expensive and it doesn't work? Why not the same fervor of more expensive, less effective government security programs? Border security for example. The creation of the Internet was expensive and did nothing for security. Are you against that? Federal regulation on banking and the ACH (Automated Clearing House) offers a single point of failure for our entire banking system. Where's the outrage over that? There are several more worthy government programs to be against that a simple national ID standard.

Besides, your SSN is already a single point of failure for ID theft. With the biometrics built into these cards, it actually helps prevent ID theft. Of course, no system is perfect, but this is better. Isn't better still better?

Re:give me a break (1)

EveLibertine (847955) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784043)

Way to read TFA he linked to.

Ok, so you don't take issue with the fact that it's useless and ridiculously expensive, but you think people are complaining about it a little too much than you think they should be? I can think for myself, and I meter my outrage of different issues as I see fit.

Secondly, your last line of the argument blatantly uses circular logic to prove itself.

Thirdly, I am purposefully avoiding the red herring about the Internet and security that you through out there. Just thought I'd let you know.

Re:give me a break (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784173)

I can't decide, is your reply serious?

There is a ton of outrage over border security right now and Internet technologies that came out of DARPA sure as hell made the military a lot more efficient while lots of the infrastructure was built by universities and private organizations expanding on the research that came out of DARPA.

ACH is not even close to a single point of failure, you're referring to a whole network. Is the Internet a single point of failure for any organization? The whole Internet can go down? Really? ACH runs on all of the same technology only segregated from the rest of the Internet.

As for biometrics, as you assuming that card swipes will actually verify that identity is consistent with a central database somewhere? Good luck with the government putting something like that together if you recall the FBI's latest attempts to modernize. How would that work considering the numbers of places without an Internet connection. Are they going to share a phone line with credit card machines now? No, the reality is that different biometric information will be encoded on a fraudulent Real ID matching the identity thief.

The only thing Real ID accomplishes is making it MORE difficult to recover your identity once it has been stolen. Since you couldn't possible have had the information forged. It would also make it easier when presenting ID but we should only rarely ever have to present ID. Given the current state of constitutional abuses I would definitely say now is not the time for something like this.

Re:give me a break (4, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784069)

There are many reasons to be against this sort of thing. Cost has been said already. It's forcing states to pay for this, without funding it federally. Second, this country has been against a national ID card for decades. In fact, Social Security was guaranteed to not be used as a national ID card. The fear is that the government can track your every move with this card, as it will be required by more and more services. Currently, state ID cards are not linked to the government in any meaningful way. Yeah, they can look up your data, but that's about it. With a single, computerized ID system, every time you make a purchase that requires your ID (Cigarettes, alcohol, porn) can be recorded. Every time you get on an airplane, the government knows about it. They can datamine so much information about you, that your privacy is effectively nil.

Yes, we're already a computerized society, and they can already do a lot of this. That's bad, but the disparate nature of the databases makes doing such searches difficult and expensive, thus relegating it to important suspects. With this information at the governments fingertips, the cop that pulls you over for 'speeding' could see everywhere you've used your ID. Maybe take you downtown for questioning because you happen to go to the same night club as a wanted fugitive. Or maybe he's a bible thumper and wants to "punish" you for some blight against his beliefs on your record.

Is all that Paranoid? You bet. But the best defense of your privacy is to not allow people to have access to it, regardless of whether it's for the "greater good" or not. You're privacy is not private if the government has access to it, regardless of whether you think you have anything to hide or not.

Re:give me a break (2, Insightful)

zrq (794138) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784797)

... this country has been against a national ID card for decades ...
Just checking, is this the same place that has decided that anyone who wants to visit has to supply a full set of fingerprints and retina scan before they let you in ?

Re:give me a break (1)

grommit (97148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784149)

Replace my passport huh? How do you propose that other countries would stamp my Real ID? I wouldn't be too keen on having it defaced.

Re:give me a break (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784197)

This is the reason I'm opposed to it: the way it was passed. As I recall, Real ID was passed in the senate by tacking it onto a military spending bill. This, to me, reeks of untrustworthiness. Now, one possible reason to pass a law in this fashion is because you're lazy. Another is because you want it to fly under the radar. In either case, this is unacceptable.

1) Our lawmakers have the responsibility to give a big law like this its own proper attention and debate, even if they don't feel like it.
2) If you want a law to fly under the radar... that disgusts me. The members of Congress are supposed to be representing us, not trying to get things shoved through under our noses without us noticing!

In either case, tacking the bill onto something unrelated was unacceptable. These are the only two reasons for doing so I can think of at the moment, so unless someone can come up with a good reason for piggybacking Real ID, I oppose the damn law because it was passed in an unethical fashion. I might even have supported the idea if it had been given its own spotlight, as it deserved, but it comes across to me very shady, as if our lawmakers are trying to hide things from us. That's not cool.

Re:give me a break (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784269)

Totalitarian governments methodically consolidate power (Castro, Putin, ect). A universal identity card and the accompanying database is a wonderful tool for a power-hungry politician (think of Bloomberg and then BATFE trace data).

Re:give me a break (2, Interesting)

keytoe (91531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784489)

I don't think anyone really has a problem with the technical improvements with the IDs. It's the the centralized database, requiring it for travel and other obscenely intrusive bits that people oppose. Of course, a lot of people rally around the 'unfunded mandate' banner simply because it's easier to influence the general public with money-related arguments.

You're right. And wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784593)

"They are afraid that somehow, carrying one card instead of several, will keep them from doing things like exercising free speech, freely assemble, carry a firearm or who knows what else. They are afraid that this ID card will take away all of their rights. How? Don't ask me. Why will it happen here when it will not happen in every other country with a national ID standard? Can't tell you."

You're talking about all those european countries that do not guarantee freedom of speech and who do not guarantee the right to own arms? Do you realize that you're so wrong that it's unnatural?

Re:give me a break (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784687)

I think many people do not like the idea of their government collecting vast amounts of data on them to be stored and mined at the whim of federal officials, with little or no meaningful oversight, and barring be able to prevent the Federal government from doing that, at least making them bloody well work at it, with a vast array of state and federal agencies with mountains of paperwork. The Founding Fathers wanted a government founded on liberty and with strict limits on its powers. I doubt very much that they would have enjoyed the idea of that government turning each and every citizen into a potential wrongdoer.

The United States was founded by people who were fundamentally distrustful that the State would ever behave itself, and set in checks and balances to assure that the natural tendency towards tyranny could be prevented. Unfortunately, technology has allowed the state to creep past these boundaries, and the sheer idiocy of partisan politics and the whoring of every aspect of American political culture means that Congressional representatives who ought to be telling the President to go suck an egg every time such tyrannical notions come to the surface instead find themselves sucking at the party teat.

Washington was right about political parties.

Re:give me a break (2, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784781)

Here's a reason. Can you point out where the Union government gets the authority to do such a thing? Okay, now can you do it without a tortured and grossly overly general interpretation of the interstate commerce clause? Have you read the 10th amendment?

-Peter

Re:give me a break (1)

tylernt (581794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784235)

CAC card,
Your Common Access Card card?

Re:give me a break (4, Insightful)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784501)

I am against this because every step toward tyranny is just that: a step toward tyranny. Each step, no matter how small, must be opposed.

It is no consolation to say "I know we're slaves now, but we took a long time to get there."

Fine. But my Dad needs help with Medicare (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19783971)

The Real ID law...requires that all state driver's licenses and other identification cards include a digital photograph and a bar code that can be scanned by electronic readers. Such a federally approved ID card or document would be required for people entering a federal building, nuclear power plant and commercial airplane.

These are the complaints I see coming:

"Dad needs help in applying for Social Security and Medicare. My wife has plans to visit her mother in New York. I have contracts to service federal agencies, appearances scheduled in the federal courts.
We are not anchored in the New Hampshire bedrock. There are places we need to go, things we need to do, that will increasingly demand a standardized photo ID."

Re:Fine. But my Dad needs help with Medicare (2, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784189)

The fact of the matter is that the Feds will have to accept the state ID - whatever it is - the way it always has. A Federal ID simply drives up costs, duplicates computer facilities, creates even more unnecessary Federal jobs and erodes the constitutional powers of the states further. A standardized ID doesn't improve anything, since the present system is already working.

Re:Fine. But my Dad needs help with Medicare (2, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784471)

You miss grandparents point. The Feds will not issue a Federal ID, your alternative. Rather, they will refuse to accept NH ID's until they comply with the Real ID act. So, they just screw over NH citizens while they elect a government that refuses to comply.

I do wish New Hampshire luck. If anyone is stubborn enough, it's them.

Civil war fears are subsiding? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784039)

It seems that the state fear of the federal government is finally subsiding. I am surprised that it took more than 150 years for the states to start taking back the constitutional powers that were theirs all along. One small step for an Amercan, one big leap for Statekind...

Nuclear Powerplant? (3, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784659)

The entire debate aside, why on earth is Nuclear Power plants on that list? I mean, seriously. Isn't that a bit like making a law which requires car companies to put at least one steering wheel on each car? Or to require that all commercial air planes have at least one wing... I mean without this legislation nuclear plant operators would probably just let anyone walk in carrying an explosive belt or whatnot, right ? Seriously, I'd be a lot more worried about a terror attack against a train company than a nuclear power station.

Federal Employees and flights (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19784885)

While they deserve points for telling the feds to take a leap, what does that do for federal employees that live in their state, or citizens that want to fly ( once you have to have the realID to fly )?

Interesting considering, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19784961)

My Aunt works at UNH and they wanted her to do a retinal scan to be rehired, she refused, they gave up when they couldn't find a replacement.
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