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U.S. National Identity Cards All But Law 1083

Posted by Zonk
from the happiness-is-mandatory dept.
CompSci101 writes "News.com is running a story about the RealID Card legislation that's been attached to emergency military spending bills to ensure its passage. How soon does everyone think this system will be abused either by the government or by thieves ? The worst part is the completely machine-readable/automatic nature of the thing -- you might not even know you're giving your information away." From the article: "Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards."
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U.S. National Identity Cards All But Law

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  • Blank Reg (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday May 06, 2005 @02:56PM (#12454875) Homepage Journal
    "Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service.

    So how possible would it be to get by without one? Regarding

    Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards."
    I expect that would cross the line of States Rights. Perhaps they could enforce it for interstate transportation, but within my state I think there would be a fight against such a thing.

    Might as well start writing the check out now to help fund the fight against this thing.

    Geez, you'd need to have spent half your life on drugs and alcohol to think this is a good idea and sign it into law.

    "Aus Passe!"

    • Re:Blank Reg (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AdamWeeden (678591) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:00PM (#12454952) Homepage
      States Rights haven't existed since the Civil War.
      • Re:Blank Reg (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ConceptJunkie (24823)
        You're wrong. Every state has the right to kiss the Federal government's butt and it might get some money. Of course what it gives away for that money is another matter.

        In all seriousness though, your statement was exactly what I was going to say.

        • Re:Blank Reg (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cayenne8 (626475)
          "You're wrong. Every state has the right to kiss the Federal government's butt and it might get some money. Of course what it gives away for that money is another matter."

          This is EXACTLY what we have got to stop allowing them to do!! We send tax dollars to the Feds...in order to enable them to extort us with these funds?

          That, and something needs to be done about allowing them to tack irrelavent legislation onto any bills that go through. Only relavent items should be allowed on a bill...!!!

    • Re:Blank Reg (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:03PM (#12455006)


      Unfortunately, that's why they attached this thing to an Iraq spending bill...so they could ram it through Congress without actually having to debate the issues...on its own, it was expected to have trouble in the Senate.

      Attached to an Iraq spending bill, it will have no trouble passing, and our esteemed President has already expressed his support.

      This bill will impose costs on states (driver's licenses)without proper reimbursement, so there's a fighting point right there, but I don't realistically see this being stopped. Instead, it might be better to start thinking about how we might benefit from the imposition of this new technology.

    • Re:Blank Reg (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nos. (179609)
      Just move north. Our Privacy Commissioner isn't too likely to let something like identity cards [privcom.gc.ca] happen up here, at least not without a hell of a fight.
    • Re:Blank Reg (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZosX (517789) <[zosxavius] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:25PM (#12455372) Homepage
      I expect that would cross the line of States Rights. Perhaps they could enforce it for interstate transportation, but within my state I think there would be a fight against such a thing.

      Yeah, because dissent will get you far in todays political climate. Didn't you see the congressman on Farenheit 911 state very plainly that for the most part they don't even get to read and analyze what bills they are voting in? The Patriot Act is so fucking unpatriotic that George and Tom are still rolling in their graves. 200 years ago we went to war over such intrusions into our private lives and yet now we idly sit by and watch as slowly but surely the bill of rights becomes eroded with each new act of congress.

      Think it is any small mystery that the government wants less people to own guns and certainly less people to carry them on their person? Why do you think militias, you know, those little civilian armies, you know, the ones that originally fought for our revolution, why the fuck do you think want them to only really have small arms and certainly no automatic weapons, bombs, grenades, or anything of power? The very real posibility that the people may one day get fed up with all these bullshit laws is precisely the reason that the federal government wants to ultimately have everything under wraps. Whatever happened to Taxation without Representation? Ask yourself honestly, who is being represented within the federal government? Who does congress typically side with? Who funded the media blitzes that got these cadidates seats within our government?

      The political climate in this country is so stifling it makes me wonder how people can call themselves public servents when they have become so entirely self serving. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. You should never trust any reigning power, including the president and his bought and sold republican congress. The people need a voice and that voice is drowning out in the politics of corporate america and the rethoric of an unwinnable war on terrorism. By coaxing the public into a constant state of fear, we have created a public opinion that our rights are not nearly as important as our safety. According to Mr. Franklin, we now deserve neither safety nor rights and will be given neither in this sad pursuit.

      I think the James Madison quote in my sig speaks best about the current political environment. Remember, Madison and Jefferson both wanted no American to trust the federal government and left the flexibility in our constitution to tear down our government if need be and erect something in its place. As it happened with the original Articles of the Confederation, which basically gavae the federal government no authority, it was realized that such an arrangement would not work for a great many reasons, including the need for a single currency. Thus 10 years or so later, the Constitution was born and signed into law.

      As long as people keep voting for a party that does paltry little to represent their voters and their voters' rights, then American will continue along this sombre path of imperialism, corruption, world manipulation, and war all in the name of protecting our "freedoms."

      The next time you go to vote for someone, ask yourself, who does this candidate represent? If you can't put yourself into that picture, well then, who the hell can you vote for?

      I hope your state does indeed fight this and my state as well, but unfortunately I'm sure that with the threat of removal of precious federal funding, most states will do as they have always done and bend over. Good thing you voted for those state reps right?

      • Re:Blank Reg (Score:3, Insightful)

        by surefooted1 (838360)
        As long as people keep voting for a party that does paltry little to represent their voters and their voters' rights, then American will continue along this sombre path of imperialism, corruption, world manipulation, and war all in the name of protecting our "freedoms."

        I was right with you up until the part above. This is in part why things happen as they do. The gov't gets people arguing about democrats this, republicans that, when the gov't institution itself is corrupt. It doesn't matter if they're
        • Re:Blank Reg (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Refrag (145266) on Friday May 06, 2005 @05:32PM (#12457239) Homepage
          When the grandparent poster said s long as people keep voting for a party that does paltry little to represent their voters..., I don't think he meant the Republican party. I think he meant the two parties in this country which represent the corporations more than the people.
      • Re:Blank Reg (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 87C751 (205250) <sdot@rant-[ ]tral.com ['cen' in gap]> on Friday May 06, 2005 @04:01PM (#12455989) Homepage
        Didn't you see the congressman on Farenheit 911 state very plainly that for the most part they don't even get to read and analyze what bills they are voting in?
        Nit: He didn't say "get to". He said "We don't read most of the bills..." It's not for lack of opportunity. It's from lack of concern.

        Personally, I think there should be no riders. Every bill should address one thing and one thing only, and should carry a title that clearly summarizes its intent. Of course, that would be the end of pork, so there's no chance in hell that it will happen prior to the revolution. But I can dream...

  • RFID chips in IDs: (Score:5, Informative)

    by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday May 06, 2005 @02:56PM (#12454882)

    From TFA:


    The Real ID Act says federally accepted ID cards must be "machine readable," and lets Homeland Security determine the details. That could end up being a magnetic strip, enhanced bar code, or radio frequency identification (RFID) chips.

    In the past, Homeland Security has indicated it likes the concept of RFID chips. The State Department is already going to be embedding RFID devices in passports, and Homeland Security wants to issue RFID-outfitted IDs to foreign visitors who enter the country at the Mexican and Canadian borders.
    The agency plans to start a yearlong test of the technology in July at checkpoints in Arizona, New York and Washington state.



    Looks like devices like these [eweek.com] are going to become very popular very soon...

    Also, devices like these [rense.com] could be used to really complicate the lives of people you dislike...

    • by cplusplus (782679) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:03PM (#12455000) Journal
      or radio frequency identification (RFID) chips
      Heh. I guess I'll have to make a tinfoil hat for my driver's license, too.
      • I've heard it's sufficient to simply wear a tin foil hat when you take your driver's license photo.

        The guy that said this was wearing a black suit, so he must have been telling the truth.

    • by Xzzy (111297)
      The race is on: Submit a patent for a faraday cage wallet.

      Shielded wallets already exist I suppose, but they lack the punch of saying "faraday cage" to people. It just sounds better.
    • At least, you still have three years...

      Two years ago, the US have imposed that all foreign passport have to be machine readable for people from countries in the Visa Waiver program. In Switzerland, this forced a lot of people to get new passports, which caused a huge backlog. Now that most people me including have new passports which are machine readable, they want passeport with biometric information, so expect biometric information on US ID card within six years.

      Going to conferences in the US is rea

  • How soon? (Score:5, Funny)

    by PopeAlien (164869) on Friday May 06, 2005 @02:58PM (#12454915) Homepage Journal
    How soon does everyone think this system will be abused either by the government or by thieves ?

    you mean theres a difference?
  • To wit:

    Q: Why did these ID requirements get attached to an "emergency" military spending bill?
    Because it's difficult for politicians to vote against money that will go to the troops in Iraq and tsunami relief.


    As I have already said in a different discussion, this rider crap needs to stop now.
    • by Tycho (11893) on Friday May 06, 2005 @04:14PM (#12456166)
      In Minnesota at least, riders are unconstitutional. Bills have to cover one subject and unreated items cannot be on the bill or else the rider item is declared unconstitutional. Two years ago gun rights extrememists in the Republican controlled Minnesota House attached a conceal carry law to a natural resources technical bill, alone the conceal carry bill would have never passed the Democrat held Senate. The rider itself may have even been written by the NRA. Last month the Minnesota Appeals Court ruled the rider unconstitutional. The courts have declared riders unconstitutional many times before for other riders. At any rate, new concealed carry bills have been introduced in the House and Senate, but the bills seems to have a tough time ahead of them. The Senate in Minnesota is still held by the Democrats and since last year's election the Republicans only hold a two seat majority in the House.
  • Whoa! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday May 06, 2005 @02:59PM (#12454937)
    Where's the debate on this?

    The "New Labour" government got back in the UK (with a reduced minority) so are going to try to introduce ID cards here, but at least there's going to be a hell of a debate on it now they won't be able to steamroller it through.

    http://www.no2id.net/ [no2id.net]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:00PM (#12454951)
    It will do little to stop criminals, because criminals have never cared about the rules, but decent American citizens will have to jump through hoops and come to accept presenting papers to travel in-country just like those Soviets we looked down on.
    • When the younger brother of my husband (my boyfriend at the time) came to visit a few years ago, he had trouble buying a bus ticket to get home, because he didn't have a state- or federally-issued ID. They didn't care that he was 14, and too young to have a driver's licence. In the end, we had to give a bunch of our own personal information to Greyhound so that this kid could ride a bus from Massachusetts to New Hampshire. No one would argue that he was too young to ride by himself, but they wouldn't accept
  • Pretty sad. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:00PM (#12454960)
    We never had real freedom here in this part of europe. People used to dream of travelling to the USA, the land of the free.

    Americans had freedom and are willingly throwing it away. All it takes for evil to triumph is for a few good men to do nothing. WAKE UP!

  • Nice trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sg3000 (87992) * <sg_public.mac@com> on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:01PM (#12454967)
    Wow, is anyone else surprised CNET put this in here:

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

    The Republicans control congress and the executive branch now, and they wanted [house.gov] to have this National ID bill. By attaching this to a wholly unrelated military spending bill, the so-called advocates of small government will get their national ID card wish.

    As an interesting aside it's funny that they chose to stick this into a military spending bill for Iraq. Anyone recall that the Bush Administration told us told this war was going to cost? I thought this was was supposed to cost between $10 and $100 billion [salon.com]? We're already more than three times the high end figure, with no end in sight. This is the fourth emergency allocation of money Bush has asked for for his war "on the cheap".

    Anyway, make no mistake about it. The Republicans are now using their complete control to railroad this bill through, by sticking this thing in a military spending bill. It's a perfect catch-22. If the Democrats voted against it, they would have been accused of being against our troops (John Kerry, please take some time to describe how that feels). If they voted for it, it miraculously becomes a bipartisan bill so the Republicans can pass the blame around to evade responsibility. Even after this, the Democrats can be accused of "flip-flopping" since they voted against the national ID before, and now they're voting for it when it's buried in a military spending bill (Senator Kerry, your turn again). Wow, it's a win-win-win situation for the Republicans.

    Of course, for the Democrats and the public in general, it's a nice lose-lose-lose situation though. Maybe a brave Democrat can filibuster this bill so it doesn't get railroaded through. Oh, wait, the Republicans want to get rid of the filibuster [nytimes.com], too.

    I call upon all the Democratic senators and representatives who read Slashdot to stop this as soon as possible! There. I've done my part.
    • Re:Nice trick (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jtheletter (686279) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:33PM (#12455499)
      By attaching this to a wholly unrelated military spending bill, the so-called advocates of small government will get their national ID card wish.

      I agree that this bill is problematic in setting up a de-facto (if not in-facto) national ID card. However you really need to RTFA (again perhaps) as it clearly states that the ID card rider had already been passed in a stand-alone bill before it was tacked onto the military spending one. Yes, this makes it difficult, if not impossible, for dissenting reps who may have changed their mind having learned more about it since the first time it went through, but this is not a backdoor bill, it already had major support.

      On a side note re: your mention of the rampant spending for this war - at what point can we begin impeachment for such blatant lies? We entered this war with no exit strategy, no reconstruction plans. Hell I'd be astonished to learn Bush had planned anything farther than "bang-bang shoot em up real good". I think it's pretty clear that this administration has at no point cared about actual public opinion, political results, or actual cost. They wanted this war at any cost and have lied, cheated, and passed the buck from day 1 of Bush taking office. As much as every piece of government seems to be in bed with the executive branch (goodbye checks and balances) I can't believe there is no legal case against half the cabinet members for knowingly misleading the public and basically doing whatever the hell they want with zero regard for legality, international relations, or - for fssk's sake - the consequences of their actions over the next generation.

      "Democracy delivered by the bomb and the gun is terror elsewhere in the world where I'm from." - Special Delivery, MC Frontalot

  • The real problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by skraps (650379) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:01PM (#12454969)
    The real problem is that our legislature is so broken that it is possible to "attach" stupid bills to other unrelated bills.
  • Soc. Sec. Cards have been used for years as a form of National ID, I welcome this, just wish it was more secure and private.
  • Abuse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ctrl-Z (28806) <timNO@SPAMtimcoleman.com> on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:02PM (#12454984) Homepage Journal
    How soon does everyone think this system will be abused either by the government or by thieves?

    Probably about as quickly as emergency military spending bills have been abused to pass RealID Card legislation.
  • by Kainaw (676073) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:03PM (#12455008) Homepage Journal
    FTA:
    "Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards."

    What standards doesn't my driver's license have? Again, FTA:
    At a minimum: name, birth date, sex, ID number, a digital photograph, address, and a "common machine-readable technology" that Homeland Security will decide on.

    Checking my driver's license:
    [x] Name
    [x] Birth Date
    [x] Sex
    [x] ID Number
    [x] Digital Photograph
    [x] Address
    [x] Machine-readable technology: both a magstrip and a barcode.

    What states are issuing driver's licenses without this information on them?
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:08PM (#12455097) Homepage
    The real tragedy here is not the use of a national ID. There are legitimate merits to both sides of that discussion, and I will not address them here. The real tragedy is that this is an "Emergency military spending bill" which a HUGE rider on it.

    This is why the line item veto [loc.gov] was popular, despite being blatently unconstitutional. A few congress persons sitting on a committee can completely disrupt the validity of a bill. Nobody is going to veto a bill that gives money to the military and be responsible for leaving them high and dry. And the bill also gives tsunami aid. Nobody will veto that either.

    It should be unconstitutional to place this type of stuff on a bill. It is also highly irresponsible of our congress people to not flame anyone who tries to do this stuff. I don't know how to word the ammendment, but it would probably do a LOT to clean up some of the obnoxious laws that sneak into place.
  • by commonchaos (309500) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:08PM (#12455099) Homepage Journal
    I've been collecting links which can be viewed at del.icio.us under the "realid" tag [del.icio.us]

    Feel free to make your own del.icio.us account and add to the collection.
  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:12PM (#12455159)
    ... could somebody please explain me how exactly this whole concept of 'rider' bills got started and, most important, how it continues without being made illegal?

    Who exactly has the authority to 'attach' things to a bill? If I was a politician and was sure that a bill had a 100% chance of passing (say, one of these 'emergency, need money for our troops' bills), what would prevent me from attaching to it a few pork projects for the people who elected me for example?
    • by fuzzybunny (112938) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:28PM (#12455419) Homepage Journal
      Very roughly, "rider" additions to bills are a type of amendments which aren't necessarily directly related to the main purpose of the bill.

      Essentially what happens is that representatives (bills originate in the House of Representatives, the lower house) can add their own provisions, make edits, whatnot, of draft bills submitted for review. It's basically a way of saying "change this-and-that or I won't vote for it"--if you have a lot of influence, for example through which committees you chair, you can exercise substantial control over things like budgets, membership in committees (and thus peoples' political careers, etc.)

      Committees also have varying degrees of influence of new bills as they can "go to committee" for review, editing, whatnot--for example, the senate foreign relations committee, select committee on intelligence, and others have pretty inordinate amounts of power. The chair of these can engage in what is essentially blackmail to get his way, or to help a colleague/ally/whatever.

      No, nothing prevents you from attaching pork projects. And yes, it's shit.
    • fuzzybunny already handled what they are... why is a more sad story.

      Basically, this is how Senators get wasteful and special interest spending passed as political favors to the people who funded their reelection campaigns.

      Now, it gets even more sad when you realize that the only thing that a candidate needs to do to get elected is to greatly outspend his opponent. Darth Vader would win over Jesus Christ if Jesus spend $2000 and Vader spent $2,00,000 on his campaign. It's works because the populous is so
  • by kalirion (728907) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:17PM (#12455250)
    For those who don't know, Section 102 of the bill allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to disregard any and all laws that HE ALONE DEEMS NECESSARY to the construction of barriers at borders, without any oversight, judicial or otherwise. He could claim that setting landmines along the borders is necessary. Hell, he could claim that nuking San Francisco is necessary. Doesn't matter what he claims - as long as he makes a claim, no one has the authority to stop him.

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

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

    `(c) Waiver-

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

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

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

    `(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'"
  • by sapped (208174) <mstore1@y[ ]o.com ['aho' in gap]> on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:19PM (#12455266)
    ha-ha. I repeat. ha-ha.

    When most people here think that it is OK to discriminate against foreigners living here legally by passing crap like this [tennessean.com] then you should not be surprised when the power to abuse this is kicked a few notches higher.

    I am also constantly amazed when I speak to most Americans around me about the Patriot Act. They seem to live in this dream world thinking that it will only be used against "terrorists". Yeah. Right.
  • by publius_ovidius (870895) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:20PM (#12455292) Homepage Journal

    So, any /. folks old enough, like me, to remember how we would react with derision and scorn at the horrifying stories of people in the USSR being required to have "internal passports" for travel and always carry identity papers? Well, just for giggles, how would you define "internal passport" and how is that different from this?

    • To play the devil's advocate here, I'd define an "internal passport" as a document that is used to allow citizens to pass through areas within their own country.

      Obviously, this is different from what's being proposed here. I didn't even RTFA and I'm reasonably sure that this ID will not be required to travel in the U.S. I'd bet that you can drive from Maine to California without ever showing your ID to anyone.

      Flying will require this, but really, is it any different than how you fly now? Flying is n

      • I certainly don't think it's quite as onerous, but it's not too far from it. I did read the article and here's the second paragraph:

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

        Further, with the Suprem [epic.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:22PM (#12455312)
    "What no one seemed to notice was the ever widening gap between the government and the people...And it became always wider...
    "The whole process of this disconnect coming into being was built around diversion...
    "Nazism gave us some other dreadful, fundamental things to think about ...or, rather, provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway...
    "Nazism kept us so busy with continuous changes, accusations and 'crises' and so fascinated ... by the machinations of the 'national enemies' without and within) and the government's 'responses' to them, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us...
    "Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted', that unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures' must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing...
    "Each act curtailing freedom... is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow...
    "You don't want to act, or even talk, alone... you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble' or be 'unpatriotic'...But the one great shocking
    occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes...
    "That's the difficulty. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring: the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit (which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms) is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. ...
    "You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father... could never have imagined."
    Source: They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45 (Chicago: University
    of Chicago Press, 1955)
    __________________________________
    "We will not wait as our enemies gather strength against us. In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action, and this nation will act." G.W.Bush, West Point, June 2002
    "In this new world, declarations of war serve no purpose. Our enemies must be defeated before they can harm us. I will never declare war, but will take action!" Adolph Hitler, June 1940
    "Not too many people will be crying in their beer if there are more detentions, more stops and more profiling. There will be a groundswell of public opinion to banish civil rights," Peter Kirsanow, Bush's controversial appointee the U.S.
    Commission on Civil Rights
    "I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people, and the West in general, into an unbearable hell and a choking life."
    Osama bin Laden, October, 2001

  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:22PM (#12455330) Homepage
    How does knowing one's identity really make us collectively safer. I've yet to see a good answer to this question.

    Requiring identification is basically a way of tracking people; fishing expeditions.

    Scanning for explosives, etc is what they should concentrate on... most, if not all?, of the 911 terrorists had valid licenses; many of them had no criminal records ... again, my question is how does requiring ID make us safer?

    Ron Bennett
  • by rleibman (622895) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:27PM (#12455401) Homepage
    I get emails from this organization: www.downsizedc.org [downsizedc.org]. They've been working against this for a while, and they have tons of information about *exactly* why a national ID card is a bad idea.
    They have a very easy form to contact your senator on this issue.

    They are also working on a law proposal that would force lawmakers to read the laws before they get to vote on them. A good idea and well presented.
  • by vistic (556838) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:29PM (#12455447)
    ...and needs to be fixed is the way legislation works in this country where things can keep getting tacked onto bills so various things can be snuck in. There should be some committee that make sure bills stay focused and on task.

    New bill going through to prevent the government from beating up your dear, sweet grandma... (and we snuck on legislation that allows us to sneak into your home and rummage through your stuff for any reason we decide, without informing you)... can't vote that down, think of all the grandmas!
  • by jsproul (4589) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:30PM (#12455459) Homepage
    This bill also includes an amendment by my local Representative, Ed Markey (D-MA) to ban the "extraordinary rendition" of suspects to regimes like Syria that routinely use torture.

    I'm not sure which is worse - allowing the government to continue to kidnap potentially innocent people and send them to other countries to be tortured, or a national ID that's little more than the existing drivers' licenses.

    Fortunately we still have the Second Amendment. For now.
  • by carambola5 (456983) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:40PM (#12455622) Homepage
    OK, so the idea of a national ID card being attached to the emergency military bill sucks.

    And requiring such a national ID card to fly in an airplace sucks.

    And a lot of other things about this ID thing suck.

    But there is one upside to this: reduction of election fraud. If you're required to scan in when you vote, voter disenfranchisement should plummet... assuming Diebold doesn't get it's slimy hands on the system, of course. Sorry Chicago, no more "Vote early, vote often" of yore.
  • by JimBobJoe (2758) <swiftheart@gmail . c om> on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:43PM (#12455684)
    I *just* got this posted on Politech...I'm reposting it here on Slashdot as a Call to Arms.

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] House approves Real ID Act;one Democrat's
    objections [priv]
    Date: Fri, 06 May 2005 09:50:32 -0800
    From: James Moyer
    To: Declan McCullagh

    Declan,

    With the approval of the REAL ID Act, I believe it's time to place blame
    of it passage and make sure that Congress knows that there are people
    who still believe in liberty and care about their privacy.

    For this reason, I believe that we (those who care) should begin a
    campaign against Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, to make sure
    that he loses the September 2006 Congressional Primary.

    We must make it clear, to the people of the 5th Wisconsin district, that
    Rep. Sensenbrenner, is directly responsible for the creation of the
    National ID Card, through his sponsorship and work on the REAL ID Act.

    We must make it clear that Rep. Sensenbrenner is putting American's
    identities and lives at stake, by fomenting the introduction of RFID
    based passports (a result of his "leadership" as chair of the House
    Judiciary Committee.)

    And finally, we must make it clear to people of faith in his district,
    that he is *most* responsible for paving the way toward the Mark of the
    Beast, as predicted in the book of Revelations, and that, like the Mark
    of the Beast, no American shall be able to "buy or sell" without one of
    Jim Sensenbrenner's "REAL IDs." There should be no doubt his work on the
    REAL ID Act is entirely unchristian.

    By aggressively targeting Jim Sensenbrenner next year, we shall make it
    clear to leadership that we are demanding that they take liberty and
    privacy needs into account. We can further awake the sleeping giant of
    Christians who are concerned about National ID card issues, but haven't
    found a medium for voicing their concerns.

    Now's the time to begin such a campaign, so that everyone is well aware
    of Sensenbrenner's dastardly REAL ID act. By September 2006 every
    churchgoer in the Wisconsin 5th shall be aware of it as well.

    Anyone who wants to work on this project is more than welcome to get in
    touch with me.

    James Moyer
  • by ninjagin (631183) on Friday May 06, 2005 @03:57PM (#12455938)
    I've been keeping track of this legislation for a few months, now, and I can't believe the irony of it.

    My gun club is populated by a lot of right-wingers, some of whom are pretty far right. The guy I buy my ammo from used to regale me (because he knows I'm a lefty) with tales of how the liberals were trying to institute national IDs which would stomp on states rights. He used to say stuff like "The liberals are gonna take away our freedom to go where we please when we please without having to show papers. It'll be illegal to just be walking down the street without anything in your pockets. Then they'll take away our guns." I laughed at him then and I confess that it's still pretty funny to me. Nobody's going to take away our guns, after all.

    It's especially funny that the same righties that used to holler and crow about how those liberal treehugging twits were gonna take away our rights are now the same ones that want national ID cards. Now that's ironic.

    It's funny also because I used to think that conservatives were for smaller federal government that leaves more responsibilities to individual states and doesn't spend so much money. Yet, these IDs are very much a big-government imposition on the states, the federal ban on gay marriage is one more such example, the Terry Schiavo fiasco proves that the fed is even willing to bypass the states to step on individual rights, and I've never seen an administration spend so much borrowed money since the Reagan years. Do republicans stand for anything conservative anymore?

    I'll probably garner some flame for this post, but there just seem to be so many examples over the past couple years where the supposed "conservative" parts of the legislature and the admittedly conservative executive branch have taken stands that are so completely at odds with conservatism as I've always understood it. Honestly, I'm not intending to start a right-left flame war -- some of my best friends are republicans, not to mention folks in my family -- I'm just trying to figure out what being a conservative means at this time.

  • Sorry, Godwin... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mac Degger (576336) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:01PM (#12459029) Journal
    Ausweiss, bitte!

    We got compulsory ID here in the Netherlands first though (well, before the US...in january 2005)...funny thing is, that's the seconds time in 60 years we've had that happen.
  • by BobSutan (467781) on Friday May 06, 2005 @11:31PM (#12459767)
    Your choices are soapbox, ballot box, ammo box. Which is it time for?

    Well, let me summarize it for ya: we've been speaking out against the government's intrusions into personal privacy, the bill of rights, etc. And then there's the lack of representation of the people because so many congresscritters have sold their souls to the corporations.

    After all the screaming and shouting we all got to vote with our hearts, but then we're stuck with a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario because of our 2-party system where both candidates aren't about to serve the best interests of the people anyway. Hell, has that really ever been the case with oligarchies like the US gov?

    And to top it off, the 2000 election was not so quietly stolen by not so obvious voter fraud, thanks in part to Bush family ties to Choicepoint's owners (which is the company that eliminated the number of votes to give "W" the Florida electorate).

    So, we've used the soapbox extensively, in fact I'm doing it now. We've used to ballot box, but that didn't seem to have any affect. So what's that leave us with?

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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