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National ID (REAL ID Act)

Davisbd23

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Another Group that I participate in has been having a debate for a while on this topic. It is a liberal group, and I too consider myself a liberal. I was hoping that there could be more than just the one side to this debate that I am seeing in the other group.

Article in full with links to sources
http://www.epic.org/privacy/id_cards/ Article in full with links to sources

Latest News/Events
Congress Passes Controversial ID Bill Without Debate. The Senate yesterday approved the supplemental military spending bill to which the REAL ID Act had been attached. The legislation mandates federal identification standards and requires states DMVs, which have become the targets of identity thieves, to collect sensitive personal information. Legislators in both parties urged debate and more than 600 organizations opposed the legislation. (May 11)

Widespread National Opposition to Real ID Act. More than 600 organizations have expressed opposition to the Real ID Act. Only two groups—Coalition for a Secure Driver's License and Numbers USA—support the controversial national ID plan. Organizations such as the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, National Association of Evangelicals, American Library Association, Association for Computing Machinery (pdf), National Council of State Legislatures, American Immigration Lawyers Association (pdf), and National Governors Association are among those against the legislation. The REAL ID Act seeks to impose federal identification standards upon the states and mandate that state DMVs collect sensitive personal information. (May 5)

State DMVs Targeted by Identity Thieves. In recent months three state DMVs have been penetrated by identity thieves. In March, burglars rammed a vehicle through a back wall at a DMV near Las Vegas and drove off with files, including Social Security numbers, on about 9,000 people. Last week Florida police arrested 52 people, including 3 DMV examiners, in a scheme that sold more than 2,000 fake driver’s licenses. Two weeks ago Maryland police arrested three people, including a DMW worker, in a plot to sell about 150 fake licenses. These criminal schemes come in the wake of a rash of data broker scandals that have compromised the personal information of millions of Americans. (May 4)
Sweeping ID Bill Faces Opposition in the Senate. A bipartisan coalition of senators is urging debate on a bill that would establish a federal mandate for identification standards across the United States. The REAL ID Act would impose technological standards and verification procedures on the states, many of which are beyond the current capacity of the federal government. The bill is opposed by the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Sen. Richard Durbin also expressed concern this week that REAL ID would repeal earlier legislation that contained "carefully crafted language—bipartisan language—to establish standards for States issuing driver's licenses." (April 22)

History
National ID cards have long been advocated as a means to enhance national security, unmask potential terrorists, and guard against illegal immigrants. They are in use in many countries around the world including most European countries, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Currently, the United States and the United Kingdom have continued to debate the merits of adopting national ID cards. The types of card, their functions, and privacy safeguards vary widely.

Americans have rejected the idea of a national ID card. When the Social Security Number (SSN) was created in 1936, it was meant to be used only as an account number associated with the administration of the Social Security system. Though use of the SSN has expanded considerably, it is not a universal identifier and efforts to make it one have been consistently rejected. In 1971, the Social Security Administration task force on the SSN rejected the extension of the Social Security Number to the status of an ID card. In 1973, the Health, Education and Welfare Secretary's Advisory Committee on Automated Personal Data Systems concluded that a national identifier was not desirable. In 1976, the Federal Advisory Committee on False Identification rejected the idea of an identifier.

In 1977, the Carter Administration reiterated that the SSN was not to become an identifier, and in 1981 the Reagan Administration stated that it was "explicitly opposed" to the creation of a national ID card. The Clinton administration advocated a “Health Security Card” in 1993 and assured the public that the card, issued to every American, would have “full protection for privacy and confidentiality.” Still, the idea was rejected and the health security card was never created. In 1999 Congress repealed a controversial provision in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 which gave authorization to include Social Security Numbers on driver's licenses.

In response to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, there has been renewed interest in the creation of national ID cards. Soon after the attacks, Larry Ellison, head of California-based software company Oracle Corporation, called for the development of a national identification system and offered to donate the technology to make this possible. He proposed ID cards with embedded digitized thumbprints and photographs of all legal residents in the U.S. There was much public debate about the issue, and Congressional hearings were held. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich testified that he "would not institute a national ID card because you do get into civil liberties issues."

The public continues to debate the issue, and there have been many other proposals for the creation of a national identification system, some through the standardization of state driver's licenses. The debate remains in the international spotlight – several nations are considering implementing such systems. The U.S. Congress is debating provisions of the REAL ID Act of 2005, which seeks to change requirements for driver's licenses. Critics argue that it would make driver's licenses into de facto national IDs.
 

Schweddy

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Welcome to Debate Politics!

I am very much against this. IMO, this would eventually do away with state citizenship and create a single US state. Slippery slope, even.
 

Squawker

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Hi Davisbd23 :2wave:


I think it is time to have a National ID. We have a severe illegal immigration problem, identity theft is more common, and security is still an issue. I would think it would make life easier @ airports, moving to a different state, pass ports, travel to Canada and Mexico, keeping track of child molesters, etc. If you have nothing to hide, how will it adversely effect the average person?
 

Davisbd23

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

I have a couple of problems with the National ID issue. I agree with to an extent with the idea that if you have nothing to hide, then there should be no problem. But the thought that we would be required to have this ID on us at all times, and for the government to have that much of my personal information it makes me extremely uneasy.

Another concern that I had was that there was how this bill passed the senate so easily (100-0). There was no debate on this bill. The REAL ID Act was attached to a military funding bill, so if you voted against the bill, then you were voting against the troops.

I agree with you about a national ID at the airports making life easier, but I find it really hard to believe that a National ID will help us with terrorism, security, or identity theft. With so much information available to the governments, I think that ID theft would be much worse than it is right now. Terrorists that are going to attack the US will find ways and loopholes to get into the country.
 

Squawker

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I have a couple of problems with the National ID issue. I agree with to an extent with the idea that if you have nothing to hide, then there should be no problem. But the thought that we would be required to have this ID on us at all times, and for the government to have that much of my personal information it makes me extremely uneasy.
If you drive you need your license with you, so no stretch there. The government already has all the information about you through the SS number. Aside from how much money you earn, they aren’t going to waste time probing into your background unless you give them reason to.

Another concern that I had was that there was how this bill passed the senate so easily (100-0). There was no debate on this bill. The REAL ID Act was attached to a military funding bill, so if you voted against the bill, then you were voting against the troops.
I think it is only debated when there is opposition and attaching the bill to one that is necessary is a common practice. I am a bit surprised the Dem’s didn’t insist it be taken out, just to put the usual monkey wrench into things. If the court hadn’t ruled against the line item veto, it could have been dealt with separately. I’m still ticked off over that one. :sigh:

I agree with you about a national ID at the airports making life easier, but I find it really hard to believe that a National ID will help us with terrorism, security, or identity theft. With so much information available to the governments, I think that ID theft would be much worse than it is right now. Terrorists that are going to attack the US will find ways and loopholes to get into the country.
I haven’t read the actual bill yet, but I suspect it would have some safeguards attached. It probably wouldn’t stop terrorist, if they really wanted to attack, but it would make it harder to get a legitimate ID, as they could with just a drivers license.
 

Squawker

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I did a quick scan of the Bill, and the following is the only thing I saw that would affect the general public. More in fees and tax increases than a real compromise of rights and privacy. Is there anything you saw in the Bill that raised some red flags, Davis? Don’t give me the liberal :spin: version, please.

SEC. 203. LINKING OF DATABASES.
(a) In General- To be eligible to receive any grant or other type of financial assistance made available under this title, a State shall participate in the interstate compact regarding sharing of driver license data, known as the `Driver License Agreement', in order to provide electronic access by a State to information contained in the motor vehicle databases of all other States.
(b) Requirements for Information- A State motor vehicle database shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:
(1) All data fields printed on drivers' licenses and identification cards issued by the State.
(2) Motor vehicle drivers' histories, including motor vehicle violations, suspensions, and points on licenses.
SEC. 204. TRAFFICKING IN AUTHENTICATION FEATURES FOR USE IN FALSE IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS.
(a) Criminal Penalty- Section 1028- a-8 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking `false authentication features' and inserting `false or actual authentication features'.
(b) Use of False Driver's License at Airports-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall enter, into the appropriate aviation security screening database, appropriate information regarding any person convicted of using a false driver's license at an airport (as such term is defined in section 40102 of title 49, United States Code).
(2) FALSE DEFINED- In this subsection, the term `false' has the same meaning such term has under section 1028(d) of title 18, United States Code.
SEC. 302. USE OF GROUND SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGIES FOR BORDER SECURITY.
(a) Pilot Program- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology, in consultation with the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security, the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, and the Secretary of Defense, shall develop a pilot program to utilize, or increase the utilization of, ground surveillance technologies to enhance the border security of the United States.
SEC. 303. ENHANCEMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS INTEGRATION AND INFORMATION SHARING ON BORDER SECURITY.
(a) In General- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security, in consultation with the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology, the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, and other appropriate Federal, State, local, and tribal agencies, shall develop and implement a plan--
(1) to improve the communications systems of the departments and agencies of the Federal Government in order to facilitate the integration of communications among the departments and agencies of the Federal Government and State, local government agencies, and Indian tribal agencies on matters relating to border security; and
(2) to enhance information sharing among the departments and agencies of the Federal Government, State and local government agencies, and Indian tribal agencies on such matters.
(b) Report- Not later than 1 year after implementing the plan under subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit a copy of the plan and a report on the plan, including any recommendations the Secretary finds appropriate, to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, and the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.

Drivers License changes Source
Full Bill Source
 
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Davisbd23

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There were a couple of flags that I saw, mainly the violation of the tenth amendment... That the federal government has overstepped their authority again. In addition to that, there are several other issues that I don't like.

I don't like the idea of every single person who has a drivers license in the United States being put into a single database that not only federal and state officials have access to, but eventually Canada and Mexico. To much potential for abuse there such as unauthorized access, or abuse by those that have access. That is my main concern... human nature. ID theft is a huge problem right now, and I think that this is going to make it easier for that crime to be committed.

Ron Paul of Texas also has several good points to the National ID Act. "One overriding point has been forgotten: Criminals don’t obey laws! As with gun control, national ID cards will only affect law-abiding citizens. Do we really believe a terrorist bent on murder is going to dutifully obtain a federal ID card? Do we believe that people who openly flout our immigration laws will nonetheless respect our ID requirements? Any ID card can be forged; any federal agency or state DMV is susceptible to corruption. Criminals can and will obtain national ID cards, or operate without them. National ID cards will be used to track the law-abiding masses, not criminals." (http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2005/tst050905.htm)



In addition to that, it opens up the doors to more bills that will take away from our privacy.
 

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There were a couple of flags that I saw, mainly the violation of the tenth amendment... That the federal government has overstepped their authority again. In addition to that, there are several other issues that I don't like.
I swear that’s what the 10th amendment was designed for. It has such a broad reach, how could you tell if it was violated? This bill can be justified under the interstate commerce clause.

I don't like the idea of every single person who has a drivers license in the United States being put into a single database that not only federal and state officials have access to, but eventually Canada and Mexico. To much potential for abuse there such as unauthorized access, or abuse by those that have access. That is my main concern... human nature. ID theft is a huge problem right now, and I think that this is going to make it easier for that crime to be committed.
I have been known to be wrong, but from my reading of the bill it would make it more difficult to steal an identity. There are more identification requirements to obtain the license, or ID card, and more information to verify the person is who he says he is. If you go into Canada with a regular license and they happen to run the number through the State DMV to find you have been convicted of a crime, or DWI, they don’t let you cross the boarder. There isn’t anything that will change there.

Ron Paul of Texas also has several good points to the National ID Act. "One overriding point has been forgotten: Criminals don’t obey laws! As with gun control, national ID cards will only affect law-abiding citizens. Do we really believe a terrorist bent on murder is going to dutifully obtain a federal ID card? Do we believe that people who openly flout our immigration laws will nonetheless respect our ID requirements? Any ID card can be forged; any federal agency or state DMV is susceptible to corruption. Criminals can and will obtain national ID cards, or operate without them. National ID cards will be used to track the law-abiding masses, not criminals.
I can’t disagree with the basis of that, because I use it to defend the second amendment, but I think it is comparing apples to oranges. The “National ID” is a buzz word to scare people. The bill states drivers license or ID card. I didn’t see where it said it would be required to have one, only that they should have some uniformity to them. The way it is set up, the bill should reduce the cost to the States by having a central data base, once the initial cost of changing the licenses and ID cards is done.

In addition to that, it opens up the doors to more bills that will take away from our privacy.
We have privacy rights? Did you hear about the employer that would fire people if they smoked in their own home? Do you have the garbage police in your town? The ones that go through your garbage, and fine you if you if you put something in there that shouldn't be?
 

Davisbd23

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I can’t disagree with the basis of that, because I use it to defend the second amendment, but I think it is comparing apples to oranges. The “National ID” is a buzz word to scare people...
"Assault Weapons" is another buzz word that is used to scare the people. I'm just having a tough time figuring out what will really be accomplished with this Act. Why change something that isn't necessary that may lead to less rights to the people? I'm sure there are better ways to secure our boarders, or to keep track of the non-citizens than to impose this new program.

All very good points that you have brought up, just the kind of perspective I was looking for. Thanks.
 

Fantasea

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Davisbd23 said:
Thanks for the warm welcome!

I have a couple of problems with the National ID issue. I agree with to an extent with the idea that if you have nothing to hide, then there should be no problem. But the thought that we would be required to have this ID on us at all times, and for the government to have that much of my personal information it makes me extremely uneasy.

Another concern that I had was that there was how this bill passed the senate so easily (100-0). There was no debate on this bill. The REAL ID Act was attached to a military funding bill, so if you voted against the bill, then you were voting against the troops.

I agree with you about a national ID at the airports making life easier, but I find it really hard to believe that a National ID will help us with terrorism, security, or identity theft. With so much information available to the governments, I think that ID theft would be much worse than it is right now. Terrorists that are going to attack the US will find ways and loopholes to get into the country.
It's not a "national ID" and no one is required to have a driver's license in his possession except when operating a motor vehicle.

I'd be interested in knowing the items of information that would be required to obtain a state driver's license under the new rules that are not already known to the state or federal government.
 
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