I Am John's Stomach Pains.

On The Precipice of Mediocrity, Teetering

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Smaller Government & Fiscal Responsibility Wins Again!  

For those who don't follow the news, you may have missed the passage of an Emergency War Spending bill for $82 Billion for the troops. It passed 100-0. Oh, and attached to this must-pass bill at the last second? Legislation to enact a national REAL ID program, something that would never have had a chance passing on its own.

On the surface, you might think a national ID makes sense... and hey, what's the problem? Well, I'll just direct you to Bob Schneier. There's tons of other references out there, but that's not a bad place to start. Without any debate, without even mentioning it to the American public that this was something they were planning on doing, the United States government has attacked any future claims to privacy that we expect living in the land of the free. And even worse, they've done it at the expense of individual states, who are already hurting enough with the tax cuts instituted.

Ugh... I can't even articulate how fucking horrible this idea is. Worst President Ever. Worst House Ever. Worst Senate Ever. Sieg Heil to the President Gasman, indeed.

posted by Holz | 1:26 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (8)


Wil is getting used to saying it... maybe you should as well :


By Blogger Manchild, at 5/12/2005 6:41 AM  

Yeah, I read that Bob Schneier thing, too. I honestly can't believe this passed. Someone needs to introduce legislation to prevent these freaking last minute riders from being tacked onto completely unrelated bills. Maybe we should start there.

On a purely theoretical level, I'm not opposed to a national ID. But then many people also say the same thing about communism...

By Blogger Kate, at 5/12/2005 7:18 AM  

I put this on Larakin's blog too, but here goes.

Hmm, I'm not seeing an issue with the ID card aside from sheer inconvenience, but I may not completely understand the entire scope of it. On the other hand, the whole HLS thing is atrocious. History should show that any loophole/law that can be exploited for ill purposes, will be. It's inevitable. Genocide would be legal as long as they were all suspected terrorists?

By Blogger Stan, at 5/12/2005 8:41 AM  

It's funny you both say you don't have a problem with the national ID card... at first, neither did I. I mean, in all those futuristic sci-fi movies, they all had 'em, right?

Then, after I did some digging, I've realized how dangerous it is.

Just think about this first: do you carry your birthcertificate and SS card around with you? I certainly don't. But this card, which will become the standard for all business interactions, will have all your info on it, plus you will always need it on you.

Second, this is just opening up holes for police in which you'll always need to produce identification, even if there isn't any cause. It's just yet another move towards a police state... the slippery slope begins here.

Finally, the scariest part, is the inclusion of RFID transmitters. Imagine police not even having to ask you for identification all they have to do is get within a few feet of you. And don't even get me started on the mass-stocking of customer information that Big Business (oooh, that lefty buzzword, scary) will get their hands on.

This is more than just a glorified driver's license.

By Blogger Holz, at 5/12/2005 9:10 AM  

Back in the day, when I first started creating different identities so that I could hide things like money or arrange to leave the country I was in and enter another country, etc.. you had to go to some extreme lengths to get your new identity.

First, you find some dead person whos identity you were going to take. Then armed with the new name, you joined trivial clubs that had photo id, but gave your new name. You signed up for all the junk mail that they could send, and collected all the mail that had the new name on it. Then you used that to join libraries etc... since they only cared about the housing address, not the name of the borrower. Next up, was slightly more exclusive clubs. Travel passes, etc.. All where the photo tended to be more important than the name.
Then you moved on to a small local town, and have a friend turn in your wallet full of the fake ID as lost property. Two hours later, you turn up, saying you think your wallet has been stolen. They return said wallet, as all the photo ID's match, but you still fill out an incident report with your new name on it.
A photo copy is provided to you, and your signature and the police stamp is on it.
Take the incident report to the registrar for births and deaths, and ask for the dead persons birth certificate, claiming it as your own. Display the police note saying that your wallet has been stolen. They will process the application, but tell you to collect the certificate when you have legitimate ID on you.
Return a few days later, and show the wallet full of ID, plus the police form. Feign ignorance if they claim it's not sufficient. Rely on bored bureaucrats to hand over document after giving your "ID"'s a cursory glance, but focusing more on the police form and your signature.

Once you have the birth cert, tasks like opening bank accounts and applying for passports is trivial.

Now compare that with:
I steal your ID.
I am you.

Much easier to do identity theft now.

By Blogger Manchild, at 5/12/2005 9:46 AM  

Dude... you scare me sometimes.

By Blogger Holz, at 5/12/2005 9:49 AM  

"I second that emotion."

By Blogger Stan, at 5/12/2005 11:17 AM  

I'll third it. But at least he was only taking the identity of dead people.

Hey Holz, I never said that I don't have a problem with the national ID card--because I do. I only said that I don't have a problem with the theory of a national ID. But "the theory" is wide open for discussion. I absolutely have a problem with the system this bill will create, especially with the RFID transmitters. It's funny you mentioned futuristic sci-fi movies, because that's exactly what I thought of: a scary police state that can track your every movement.

But I would be okay with a law that created standards for all state IDs/drivers licenses. Like maybe they all have to have certain types of security measures that make them harder to counterfeit. Most states are modernizing, but I'm sure there are still some with major flaws. I remember going to bars with people who had a New Jersey ID, and because they were easier to fake, they were often more scrutinized than the IDs from other states, etc. They could require everyone of a certain age to register for an ID. It might help for things like domestic air travel (which doesn't require a passport but does require ID).

But the information stored on them would have to be limited (there may already be too much info on some states drivers' licenses), and you shouldn't be required to carry them when you walk down the block to buy a gallon of milk. Personally, I usually do carry ID with me at all times--just "because," I guess. I still get carded at bars occasionally, and I figure if I'm ever horribly disfigured in some random accident, they'll need to identify my bloody corpse.

By Blogger Kate, at 5/12/2005 12:03 PM  

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