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Some States Say National ID Cards 'Make Life Easier' 287

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-one-opinion dept.
VE3OGG writes "Some places, like Maine, have outright rejected the idea of a nationally mandated ID card amid privacy, legal and security concerns. On the other side of the fence some states, such as California and New Jersey, have said that they welcome the National ID card and that it will make 'life easier'. One New Jersey official said 'All you are getting in e-government for the most part are things that don't require strong two-factor identification,' the official said referring to security that requires something beyond a user name and password. 'But as we move forward and start to deliver more and more complicated services, I think that people for the most part will want to know their government has implemented strong measures [with National ID cards]'."
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Some States Say National ID Cards 'Make Life Easier'

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  • What happened??!??!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:27PM (#17953224) Homepage Journal
    Modern politics is just too bizarre. The Republicans used to be the ones who were for less government involvement in an individuals life, then the Democrats appeared to have taken up that flag, but now with the National ID card (papers please), both parties seem to be endorsing this movement.

    For all you extreme left wing whakos start hollering, think about this: How much longer will it be until we have to present a National ID card to take out a loan, open a bank account, cross state lines, and more? Already it is being proposed that you will not be able to board a plane unless you have a National ID card. So, what about those who can afford their own planes? Will they be allowed more anonymity than those with fewer resources? What about purchasing items like automobiles? Those who can afford to pay cash for an automobile in its entirety would be able to do so while those who have to take out a loan are again restricted to using a bank and thus the National ID card again. How about healthcare? Those that can afford to pay for services completely will not have to worry about health care insurance and therefore will not be tracked.

    Before any of you ultra-right wing neocon folks start bashing me for this, how about realizing that a National ID card will essentially enable all sorts of purchase related tracking to take place. You can now welcome federally mandated and controlled tracking and access to guns. For example, when other states decide to buy into the fear and make .50 cal rifles illegal, they will be able to track purchases of ammunition and deliver jack-booted thugs to your door to take you away, or at the very least, prohibit you from doing any business across state lines or within states that ban those rifles if politicians decide to play that game against individuals. You can also kiss any anonymity away when dealing with private corporations as the National ID card will enable any and all transactions through banks, individuals and more to be closely monitored.

    What happened to common sense and the political middle road?

    • How much longer will it be until we have to present a National ID card to take out a loan, open a bank account, cross state lines, and more?

      we already have that for the first two. a social security card.

      as for crossing state lines, i doubt there will ever be an ID necessary for that unless the government wants to put checkpoints on every crossing. which would never happen.
      • by BWJones (18351) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:40PM (#17953420) Homepage Journal
        we already have that for the first two. a social security card.

        Which supports implicitly my point as to the futility. No ID system is going to be entirely foolproof. IDs can be faked, and security for them can be hacked, so restricting rights even further is a futile measure with no endgame other than a police state.

        as for crossing state lines, i doubt there will ever be an ID necessary for that unless the government wants to put checkpoints on every crossing. which would never happen.

        If we go too much further down this road, it will become a financial issue for the states and will place pressure on the states to "secure" their borders, so don't count on it not happening.

        • by twbecker (315312) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:47PM (#17953530)
          There is no question that the government needs to move away from Social Security #s as a means of identification. For most purposes you don't even need the stupid paper card! It's a fucking number for God's sake, how is that supposed to be secure? Having some sort of 2 factor ID mechanism is fine by me. The thing to argue about is what should we use it for, not whether or not it should exist.
          • Having some sort of 2 factor ID mechanism is fine by me.

            I would mind the concept a lot less if it weren't some government-operated identification monopoly. What's wrong with licensing privately-owned, competitive "ID Verification Entities"? Make them bonded, audited, and financially liable for security failures. You could use third-party verification "gateways" in much the same way that retailers use credit card payment services.

            At least you'd have competition to ramp up the quality of service and securit

        • point is, we already have one. it isn't as detailed as a picture ID card, but everyone gasping about privacy concerns with some possible national ID card already has had one in their posession for years.

          If we go too much further down this road, it will become a financial issue for the states and will place pressure on the states to "secure" their borders, so don't count on it not happening.

          given the sheer number of state-crossing roads in this country, it would cost an astronomical amount of money to pull t
        • One thing that I think people overlook is that it will be easier to spot less-than-perfect forgeries if there is a national ID in place. It is one standard with one format that everybody down to the lowliest liquor store clerk can remember.

          Honestly, if I need to use a fake ID, it would be a lot easier to try to pass off a forgery of a NY driver's license in another state simply because they don't know what they _should_ look like. As long as it looks official enough, who cares?

          Will it stop professional t
      • by HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) * <lajollahomeless@hotmail.com> on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:42PM (#17953452) Homepage Journal
        What they could do is make it a ticketable, even jailable, offense to be in a state without an indentification card for that state. Maybe they'll even ask vacationers to register with a national database. It'll have a web interface, and a dial up interface, and a teletype interface, so nobody can claim it isn't accessible. Employers will obtain special exemptions for their employees and scanning will be automated using the national ID card or the existing interstate highway toll booth automated payment systems.

        The offense, as with all offenses, will be selectively enforced and abused. If you appear to be a wealthy senior citizen driving a Cadillac you'll probably never be stopped for out-of-state plates. If you appear to be a young cruiser living life to the fullest, though, you'll probably be stopped for the equivalent of "you didn't use a turn signal with that last lane change". If you fail to look the officer directly in the eye then you're probably hiding something. If you do look the officer directly in the eye then you're trying to intimidate. Either situation can be construed as probable cause to check the ID and the national vacation database.

        Look. It's really not that far fetched.
        • by eln (21727) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:47PM (#17953528) Homepage
          What they could do is make it a ticketable, even jailable, offense to be in a state without an indentification card for that state.

          That would violate the Constitution. Specifically, Article IV Section I states: "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State."

          The way I read this, it means any state would have to accept your state-issued ID card (a public record) as valid identification. For the same reason, I don't think any state could require presentation of a national ID card to enter that state. Not to mention that even if they could, stopping everyone at the border of each state to check ID would have a seriously detrimental impact on interstate commerce and probably go a long way toward killing the national economy.
          • The way I read this, it means any state would have to accept your state-issued ID card (a public record) as valid identification.

            I mean no offense by saying this but you are either interpretting that line of the constitution wrong - as in not how it is legally interpretted - or else, and i find this more likely, it's already just being ignored unconstitutionally. The easy example is trying to purchase alcohol or get into a bar with an out of state ID. There are lots of bars that just won't accept an out o
      • by COMON$ (806135) *
        as for crossing state lines, i doubt there will ever be an ID necessary for that unless the government wants to put checkpoints on every crossing. which would never happen.

        What is that id in motion system on freeways?....I live in the midwest but you can probably count on that being put on interstate system borders one a national ID system is in place. Not to mention the GPS that will be on every car by that time.

        All that aside I don't think that is something we will be able to stop by denying a nationa

        • in interstates were the only way to cross state lines, yeah. there are tons of roads that cross state borders.
      • by JesseL (107722)

        ...unless the government wants to put checkpoints on every crossing. which would never happen.


        Do you have any fruits or vegetables in your vehicle?
      • by Intron (870560)
        You want my SSN? It's 078-05-1120. Of course, it's already in your database about 10,000 times.
      • unless the government wants to put checkpoints on every crossing. which would never happen.
        They already exist, they're called agricultural checkpoints. It may be strictly a California thing, but the state likes to keep the ferrets and other "exotic" flora/fauna on the other side of the border. Just add humans to that list and the pro-ID group is set.

        we already have that for the first two. a social security card.
        A little piece of blue paper you're calling a national ID? There's no picture on it, so no.

    • by operagost (62405)

      Before any of you ultra-right wing neocon folks
      Neocons are not ultra-right wing. They're more like RINOs. True conservatives are like Reagan, who was vilified by the left the entire time he was in office because he believed in throwback ideas like a strong national defense, minimizing government intervention, and keeping taxes as low as possible.
    • How much longer will it be until we have to present a National ID card to take out a loan, open a bank account, cross state lines, and more?
      Like your Social Security card?
    • Modern politics is just too bizarre. The Republicans used to be the ones who were for less government involvement in an individuals life, then the Democrats appeared to have taken up that flag, but now with the National ID card (papers please), both parties seem to be endorsing this movement.

      It's not bizarre at all, you're just not looking at it from the right perspective. The republicans and democrats aren't about liberalism or conservatism; they are about globalism both economically and politically.

      Take organized crime as an example. The Gambino family and the Genovese family have their own interests, but they will collectively go after anti-mob activity or petty gangsters encroaching on their turf. It's the same with the republicans and democrats, and it's why you don't see anyone from part

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jxs2151 (554138)
      I disagree with you....respectfully of course. I am no historian but I think that one will find that wherever an authority (government, dictator, king, Pope, etc.) has tried to exceed their authority, the people have awoken and mightily rebelled.

      Since we in the USA, have the means for a meaningful rebellion (compliments of the 2nd Amendment - thank you George Mason, et. al.) we can change our goverment should it decide to become too onerous. Since most people, rightfully, just want their lives to be peace
      • by BWJones (18351) *
        In theory, I agree with you and would even go so far as to say that many "arms" that are now illegal should be made legal so as to minimize the power differential that could theoretically be wielded against the common citizenry. However, let me ask you how many people you think would be willing to take up arms against the government... Would one, say with two kids and a mortgage, a good job and health insurance be willing to actively go up against a police force? I would wager that most Americans are so
        • by jxs2151 (554138)

          However, let me ask you how many people you think would be willing to take up arms against the government... Would one, say with two kids and a mortgage, a good job and health insurance be willing to actively go up against a police force? I would wager that most Americans are so fat and happy that a vanishingly small percentage of the populace would actually be willing to sacrifice what would be required to truly overthrow a government these days.

          I suppose that was a part of my point that I may not have communicated well enough- I believe that fat, dumb and happy can be overcome with either 1- A significant enough transgression of rights or 2- A significant amount of transgressions. The National ID Card plan falling into category #2.

          I don't wish to stereotype but I lived in the South for a while and there are some true freedom lovers down there with arsenals. Not that there aren't freedom lovers elsewhere but that was my experience. Also, I t

    • by daigu (111684)

      You might be served by checking out the political compass of the U.S. election [politicalcompass.org]. The dimension that you are missing is authoritarian vs. libertarian. There are plenty of right and left wing people with a libertarian bent that would agree with your position. In fact, classic Liberalism [wikipedia.org] places liberty as the primary political value. The people you are talking about are the Stalins and the the Thatchers of the world - which has very little to do with where they happen to fall on the left and right portion of th

    • by Syberghost (10557)
      Objecting to national ID cards because somebody COULD MAYBE abuse them in some specific way is akin to objecting to hammers because the government COULD decide to bash your skull in with them.

      I recommend a kevlar insert in your tinfoil hat if that concerns you.
    • now with the National ID card (papers please), both parties seem to be endorsing this movement.

      How would the "National ID card" be different in the papers-please department from the "I need a government-issued ID to let you into the building"?

      When I asked a security guard recently, how would seeing my out-of-state Driver's License tell him, it is not a fake, he explained, that one of the courses, he had to take to get the job, studied different IDs of the US-states, Canada, and a bunch of other countrie

    • by real gumby (11516)

      What about purchasing items like automobiles? Those who can afford to pay cash for an automobile in its entirety would be able to do so while those who have to take out a loan are again restricted to using a bank and thus the National ID card again.

      Oddly enough, I just bought a new car from a dealer today in cash (in California). Rather, I didn't use cash cash, because had I tried to use banknotes I would have had to supply a lot of ID and attention. Even had I wanted to use a personal check and take th

    • I only take my drivers license with me when I'm driving. If I'm walking I don't need it. Will this National ID Card require that I carry it on my person all the time?
    • How much longer will it be until we have to present a National ID card to take out a loan, open a bank account, cross state lines, and more?

      Loan / banking: Today. Go ahead, try and open any kind of fiscal account without government-issued identification.

      Cross state lines: Never. Maybe to cross NATIONAL borders, but barring national revolt you won't see anyone suggest that the free-reign United States be clamped down on a state-line basis. (Now, there might be an "ID to enter state park or book a room", b
  • Identification cards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bradsenff (1047338) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:29PM (#17953266)
    I have no problem with a centralized two-factor authentication card.

    I have SERIOUS problems with the "use your SSN for everything" society we have now.

    Give me a card that I have the ability to password/passcode protect, with a physical chip in it.

    Oh, and make sure it requires a friggin warrant to get the "logs" of its use. Warrantless searches make me sad.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:30PM (#17953272)
    And the USA is fast becoming a Police State:

    http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/PoliceState.html [comcast.net]
  • by Dareth (47614) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:32PM (#17953302)
    ... to at least include a picture.

    What was that? You managed to get some service(s) without giving out your Social Security number?

    Well, that was just plain UnAmerican!
  • A national ID system while expensive would be a great thing to phase in over 10 years or so. Law enforcement could verify IDs easier with mobile identification systems. State Troopers would have an easier time tracking criminals. ID systems could be created for businesses that sell controlled substances. Not to mention the cleaner National databases. The list goes on.
    • by Herkum01 (592704)

      Ah yes, the government never makes a mistake and if they do it is ALWAYS easy to fix right?

      When I was working in Child Support for a state, my boss had his tax return of a couple thousand dollars withheld by the IRS because... You Guessed it, the State of Florida said he had not paid his child support! Never mind he had never lived in Florida, nor that they did not have the right name, just someone in Florida mistyped a SSN. It took over a year to get his money back and that was only because the evidence

      • by COMON$ (806135) *
        Even more reason for an improved national ID system. SSN is broken, easily spoofed, and typo'd. Now no National ID system is going to be a fix all. But this Social Security number stuff is crap the way it is. It would be much harder to mess a 256-512 bit number that is stored electronically only with redundancy checks constantly run on it. If you worked in Child Support your would have seen how reliant SS, welfare, and medicare are dependent on SS#s and how the system constantly fails because data cant
    • Why would criminals use their real name and ID when evading police? What business do the police have demanding my ID in the first place? Why would I want a national level database in the first place - have you learned nothing from Hoover?
  • Life easier? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by crhylove (205956)
    If you mean, by criminalizing all civil libertarians like myself who would refuse such an ID card, yes, I suppose it's much easier.

    When are we going to officially change our flag to red white and black as it is increasingly being designated?

    BLAUSCHEIM BITTE!!!
    • by rice_web (604109)
      I'm a Libertarian, but I have never been one to object to a National ID system.

      With decreasing costs of technology, there will be a day not far from now in which all public areas are under constant digital surveillance, and digital security equipment will associate faces on the screen to individuals, and the government will be able to see everything that you've done in public, and everywhere in public that you've gone. But these changes will also occur in the private sector. The private sector will continue
  • by gd23ka (324741) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:40PM (#17953424) Homepage
    --"But as we move forward and start to deliver more and more complicated services, I think that people for the most
    part will want to know their government has implemented strong measures [with National ID cards]'."

    I don't think we want more and more complicated services nor do we need them. We don't want to be tracked,
    x-rayed, data-mined or subpoenaed by email. Actually we want less interference in our lives.

    34 States have turned down a national ID card.
    • by twbecker (315312)
      I think he meant offering existing services online, rather than requiring people to come into some governmental office. If the government issued me what for all intents and purposes was a fancy Social Security card, and then told me I didn't need need to come to the DMV office anymore and deal with those idiots, I dare say I'd be pretty stoked.
      • by ivan256 (17499)
        You don't need a national ID card for that, since your local DMV is a state agency, not a federal one.

        In many states (without a national ID card) you don't need to go the DMV anymore for anything other than taking a driving test and getting that first photo of yourself taken.
  • Coming soon on "Miami Ink"...

    "Pimp My RFID Tattoo"

    {...feel free to discuss among yourselves...I'll wait :) }
  • by gbulmash (688770) * <semi_famous@y[ ]o.com ['aho' in gap]> on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:41PM (#17953432) Homepage Journal
    If you were to dig down, I think you'd find that the level of resistance to the initiative is directly proportional to the cost of complying. Those states that have more modernized digital systems that they could more easily adapt to comply are going to be the ones that resist least.

    There is an element of states' rights here, and the federal government has become larger and more intrusive into the afairs of the states than the original framers of the Constitution intended. The original colonies, when they formed a federal republic, were very conscious of reigning in the power of the national government and how much influence it could exert over the states. Over time, the independence and self-determination of the states has been constricted. So for some states, this could be a line in the sand over principle. But for most, I suspect, the real issue is expense.

    - Greg
    • by JesseL (107722)
      I see a direct correlation there, but I beleive it's the result of a third cause. I think the states that lean more toward respecting individual liberty also tend to be the ones that haven't spent as much of their subject's money on modern digital systems for tracking the prols.
    • by richdun (672214)
      Interesting point indeed. I wonder too if there is a hint of the old small state/big state fight here. The smaller of the original colonies were also very big on reigning in the power of the bigger colonies - thus Rhode Island's plan for the Senate and Virginia's plan for the House. Back then, compromise led to a bicameral legislature which has worked fairly well. I don't see how to compromise here. California would probably love to go to national IDs (then use them as driver's licenses) and cut the cost
    • There is an element of states' rights here, and the federal government has become larger and more intrusive into the affairs of the states than the original framers of the Constitution intended.

      When the constitution was written, it would take weeks to travel from the northern end of the country to the southern end. And actually traveling, on a horse, from the northern end to the southern end, was the only way to get a message from one end to the other.

      Now, anyone can get anywhere in the country in less tha
  • Playing on fears (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MonGuSE (798397) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:41PM (#17953440)
    Seems like the answer to getting something through Government bureaucracies is play on the fears of others. Don't worry about your privacy rights we are careful not to trample on them (I'll believe it when I see it as a law). But if you don't let us do this national card with 'strong' security we can't ensure you identity won't be stolen. Your choice. I'm pretty sure the states can implement the same security measures as this card can implement. Not to mention two factor authentication is the end all of security counter measures. All you are really doing unless you get into biometrics (which only work in person biometric devices over a network are just as easy to send false data as a password or whatnot) is adding a second password, if they can get around the first they can get around the second. Ma'am enter your password, ma'am insert your usb token which can be captured just like any other password. Etc... This isn't the best explanation of two factor problems but you get the picture. BTW, the two factor solution will be a proprietary one from Diebold which will be used to secure your vote placed at Diebold e-voting paperless voting machines in 2010
  • I for one will NEVER carry any papers that the Government tells me that I must carry just to walk around and breath the air! They can kiss my lilly white ass.
    • I for one will NEVER carry any papers that the Government tells me that I must carry just to walk around and breath the air! They can kiss my lilly white ass.
      "i'm sorry sir, but these 'kissable lilly white ass' certification papers seem to be out of date"
  • by abroadst (541007) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:51PM (#17953594)
  • This is probably a point that's been made elsewhere, but the most disturbing thing about the National ID is not just that it's an egregious encroachment of our freedoms, privacy, and right to stay out of federal and commercial databases, but that it's all these things AND absolutely useless as any kind of security check. All ID card systems assume that identity proves security, that if I appear to be who I say I am, that means that I am no longer a security risk. This is just security theater. Even under
  • by denoir (960304) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:55PM (#17953654)
    As a citizen of one of the most bureaucratized and administered countries in the world (Sweden) I can tell you that standardized ID cards are extremely convenient - especially in their electronic form. Everything from banking to ordering a new passport or paying the taxes can be done with the same system.

    They've now started adding biometrics to the physical ID card. Fingerprint instead of pin code. The idea is to use it when boarding an aircraft or buying groceries etc with essentially no need for human involvement.

    The question however isn't if it makes life easier or not. The relevant question is if the cost associated with it is worth it. Having a permanent unique identifier attached that can be traced, well, anywhere is not a good thing if governments or corporations abuse it. It requires privacy laws and trust that the privacy laws will be respected. Ultimately it boils down to the question: do you trust the government not to screw you over and to protect you from corporate interests? My own answers are perhaps and probably. Right now there are some worrying ideas being floated by the politicians about wiretapping and Internet traffic sniffing so my first answer might change.

    Still, at this point they haven't dramatically screwed up - I mean like a patriot act level of breach of trust. So right now I'm agnostic about how good this system is.

    It is in fact convenient and efficient with an axiomatic foundation of trust that can be used for communication and exchange of services at many levels of society. One just has to hope that the foundation isn't rotten.

    • Just missed it... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by xstonedogx (814876)

      Ultimately it boils down to the question: do you trust the government not to screw you over and to protect you from corporate interests? My own answers are perhaps and probably. Right now there are some worrying ideas being floated by the politicians about wiretapping and Internet traffic sniffing so my first answer might change.

      Close. I think you've actually got it, but I think the question is just a bit more general. Ultimately, it boils down to:

      Do you trust the government and any government thereafter to

  • Makes life easier for whom exactly?
  • I love the idea of everyone being issued a smart-card signed through a federal PKI. If such a system were open so that anyone with a smart-card reader use it, you could use that one card for EVERYTHING from unlocking hotel room doors to making credit card purchases to signing email messages!

    Pop in a card and you can be sure (via digital signatures) that card really is Joe Citizen of Example, NY. Ask Visa if Joe has a credit card account, if so, bill to that with almost no risk of fraud.

    Listen: This is a gre
    • by finkployd (12902)
      Listen: This is a great idea if it is done right.

      I agree, but that is the problem. Nobody has ever done large scale PKI right. Ever.

      Revocation is STILL something that is generally broken in all of it's half assed attempts, and the scheme you mentioned had better have some second form of auth like password to decrypt the cert on the smart card or even a thumbprint scanner built into the card to activate the smartcard chip before it can be read. (I've seen it done, and it is possibly the only form of biometri
  • Some thoughts... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DnemoniX (31461) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:26PM (#17954296)
    If implemented properly how is a National ID a bad thing? Before you start warming up your keyboard to start flaming me with your rants from one side or the other think about it objectively for a second. A few points to consider:

    "But what about Big Brother?"
    Does anyone here honestly think that any Federal Law Enforcement Agency can not access all of the information tied to your Drivers License?

    "What about my privacy?"
    Once again, how does this lessen your privacy? You willfully submit all of this information to your State to obtain an ID card or drivers license. Once again do you honestly think the Feds can not access this already?

    "What about my guns?"
    Once again when you purchase that weapon depending on the type and or State you reside in, you willfully fork over all sorts of personal information to the government.

    Ok now lets think about convenience for a few minutes. Having lived all over the Country for work I have had to switch my drivers license from State to State. I moved from one State to another and getting my new license was a breeze $15 and 10 minutes of my time, however when I moved back to my home State a few years later I was forced to pay a large fee and retake the written exam over again; then wait 6 weeks for the new one, even though my out of State license was valid. What if you never had to do that again?

    What if when a police officer makes a traffic stop on an out of state vehicle he was actually able to, with a high degree of certainty, identify the person? There are numerous accounts in law enforcement of wanted criminals going unnoticed because a small local agency was unable to identify the person.

    States who object to this aren't trying to protect your privacy or security, they are protecting the revenue that they generate through licensing fees. If you disagree with that, please before you rip on that point I encourage you to take a walk over to the DMV and grab a copy of the fee schedule. Look closely at the number of various fees and the amounts. All of those fees are set by each individual state. A unified system would also mean level fees across all states, which would be set by the Feds and not the individual States.

    Just a little food for thought...
    • States who object to this aren't trying to protect your privacy or security, they are protecting the revenue that they generate through licensing fees.

      Just one problem with this... The federal government isn't the one providing the National IDs. They are requiring the states to engineer IDs that meet minimum federal standards and contain specific (machine-readable) information. The feds are requiring this form of ID to allow people to fly or enter any federal building.

      However, the feds are NOT provid

    • You willfully submit all of this information to your State to obtain an ID card or drivers license. Once again do you honestly think the Feds can not access this already?

      Not easily, and not automatically.

      Once again when you purchase that weapon depending on the type and or State you reside in, you willfully fork over all sorts of personal information to the government.

      And they retain the info for 30 days, then destroy it.

      What if when a police officer makes a traffic stop on an out of state vehicle

  • by neo (4625) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:29PM (#17954388)
    Is anyone else weirded out that a piece of paper Certifying your Birth, your License to Drive and your Social Security card are the main means of identifying you? It's all cobbled together in a strange and nasty web of connected requirements. I need all three to get a Passport, but then I can't use my Passport to get a Driver's license.

    Now logically you should be able to get one from the others.

    But I digress.

    I know we all fear the national ID number... but we already have it. If you have a passport, it's that. If you have a SSN, it's that. Driver's license? These are all ID. If you Nationalize ID's, then we can put limits on what they can and can't be used for, but right now these other numbers are unprotected. Take your SSN and post it as a reply and you'll see what I mean.

    • but then I can't use my Passport to get a Driver's license

      In NJ, I showed my passport, an electric bill, and my social security card to get my license (they need 2 or 3 forms of ID according to a wierd system where points are assigned to each type of ID and you need over 5 points). A passport is certainly considered valid government ID.

      -b.

    • Is anyone else weirded out that a piece of paper Certifying your Birth, your License to Drive and your Social Security card are the main means of identifying you?


      A Social Security card is not and has never been a form of identification. The card simply shows that a certain name has a certain SSN, it does not show that the person carrying the card is the person named on the card.
  • by UpnAtom (551727) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:41PM (#17954588) Homepage

    According to Prevent Genocide International, No other factor [than ID cards] was more significant in facilitating the speed and magnitude of the 100 days of mass killing in Rwanda. About 1 million people butchered.

    From the same page [preventgenocide.org]:

    In Nazi Germany in July 1938, only a few months before Kristallnacht, the infamous "J-stamp" was introduced on ID cards and later on passports. The use of specially marked "J-stamp" ID cards by Nazi Germany preceded the yellow Star of David badges. In Norway, where yellow cloth badges were not introduced, the stamped ID card was used in the identification of more than 750 Jews deported to death camps in Poland.

    They also provide a 'nice' table:

    Genocide: Nazi Germany (1938-1945), Rwanda (1990-1994)

    Mass Expulsion: Ethiopia (Persons with Eritrean affiliation 1998), Bhutan (Lhotshampas, 1991), Vietnam (Hoa ethnic Chinese 1978-1979), France (Alsace-Lorraine 1918-1920)

    Forced Relocation: USSR (ethnic Koreans 1937, Volga Germans 1941, Kalmyks, Karachai, 1943, Crimean Tatars, Meshkhetian Turks Chechens, Ingush, Balkars 1944, ethnic Greeks, 1949)

    Group Denationalization: Cambodia (ethnic Vietnamese 1993), Myanmar (Rohingya Arakanese 1992), Syria (Kurds 1962)

    In regard to the UK cattle tagging ID card system, The Times reported [timesonline.co.uk]:

    David Blunkett, was no better. On the subject of identity cards he once said: No one should fear correct identification. Those words always remind me of one the more distressing details of the Eichmann trial: how he told his executioner that the fate of those killed in the Holocaust was sealed by their answers to the 1939 census on religious background recorded on paper for a Hollerith machine, an early mechanical computer. Quite literally, their cards were marked.

    Needless to say, lesser abuses than these are far more common.

    The UK system is unbelievably scary. Going far beyond the punchcard Hollerith machine, our ID cards are backed by the National Identity Register, a database designed to merge all government databases and commercial data trails into a personal surveillance dossier [bristol-no2id.org.uk] that makes 1984 look respectful.

    So scared is the Govt of the public finding out about this that they are secretly forcing passport renewers [renewforfreedom.org] on to this Orwellian database from March 26th.

    They are also forcing doctors to betray their patients' confidence and upload your private medical records to another insecure national database [thebigoptout.org], again without telling you.

    I'm sorry if you haven't been warned about this before: NO2ID [no2id.net] has a budget around 1000 times smaller than the Home Office but you do still have a few weeks to protect yourself. Click the 3 links above and most importantly, read the NO2ID newsletter [no2id.net].

  • Easy button (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anomalyst (742352)
    We should fear a government with "underpaid", party-affiliated bribe-susceptible bureaucrats who find it "easy" to access information on citizens far more than any terrorist bogeyman. One is far more likely to have one's life made a living hell by such mouth-breathers transposing a digit than find death at the hands of a foreign zealot (local zealots^Widiots trying to ban Harry Potter books and otherwise interfere with daily living are something entirely different).
  • Maybe if businesses stopped using the SSN as some kind of a secret password that only you should know, and actually required a driver's license or a state id card, there would not be so many id thefts here, and nobody would need a national id system with who knows what remotely readable things in it that anyone passing by can grab. Just a thought...
  • They're quoting statewide and DMV information technology officials. Those officials want to keep their jobs, so, of course they'll come up with new uses for databases and ID cards. More custom software and applications == more job security and possibly money for them. Follow the money. There are *not* the official opinions of state legislatures or courts...

    -b.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein

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