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Real ID Act Poses Technical Challenges 296

segphault writes "Ars Technica has an article about some of the financial and technological challenges associated with implementing the Real ID Act." From the article: "Opposed by more than 600 independent organizations (including the National Governors Association) and hidden in the depths of a military spending bill in order to make passage easier, the Real ID Act has received heavy criticism from concerned citizens and state government agencies. Despite the fact that relatively sound and effective improvements to driver's license security had already been implemented as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, the federal government felt that it was necessary to go well beyond the recommendations of the 9/11 Comission Report by passing a costly and invasive law."
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Real ID Act Poses Technical Challenges

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  • Real ID (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @06:19PM (#14467598) Journal
    The 9/11 terrorists all had valid IDs. What's to stop the next batch of terrorists from getting valid Real IDs?
  • Re:Dumb Question... (Score:3, Informative)

    by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @06:35PM (#14467752)
    Because it's not supposed to be used that way.

    The Privacy Act of 1974 []

  • Re:Dumb Question... (Score:3, Informative)

    by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @06:43PM (#14467820) Homepage Journal
    Because they legally can't. And because SS # are reused. When you die your SS# will return to the regional pool and be reassigned. When you are trying to uniquely identify everyone, a repeating logic containing key is not a good idea ;)

  • Re:How is this NOT a (Score:3, Informative)

    by IAAP ( 937607 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @06:46PM (#14467845)
    How does this have anything to do with the do not fly list..

    It's a perfect example of the slippery slope and how these laws do nothing but take our civil liberties away and give power to the corrupt and incompetent. The TSA was supposed to screen for potential threats to airplane and passenger safety, NOT catch drug dealers. Soon, they'll be looking for deadbeat dads, or maybe, if you're behind on your credit card payments, they'll look for you!

    Also, the cops "tested" what was in the condoms and said that it showed that the contents were illegal drugs. Subsequently, when tested by the DEA, it came back as flour. My point: The cops either lied or are incompetent.They should be fired and arrested themselves.

  • by ugmoe ( 776194 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @06:49PM (#14467867)
    >>"Opposed by more than 600 independent organizations >> (including the National Governors Association)

    They seem to be stretching the truth on this one, the truth is that the official National Governors Association position is that they will happily make any kind of ID's requested as long as the federal government provides the funds.

    Here is the official NGA statement: 82f5b198d18a278110501010a0/?vgnextoid=3f90d3add6da 2010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD []

    Policy Position

    printable version


    EDC-18. Driver's License and Personal Identification Card Integrity

    The motor vehicle driver's license, which is issued by each state, is used as an official identification document as well as a document that demonstrates an individual's knowledge and ability to operate a motor vehicle. States also issue personal identification cards that can be used as an official identification document. Most driver's licenses and personal identification cards have common elements displayed, such as a photo, a signature, a unique identifier number, and the individual's physical description. This has made the state-issued driver's license and personal identification card the most acceptable forms of identification in America.

    Governors are concerned about the security and integrity of state driver's licenses, state personal identification cards, and the identification process. They are committed to working cooperatively with the federal government to develop and implement realistic, achievable standards that will enhance efforts to prevent document fraud and other illegal activity related to the issuance of driver's licenses and identification documents.

    In making changes to the current system of issuing driver's licenses and personal identification cards, Governors believe that any rule or regulation requiring a change to the driver's license document or the personal identification card document should only apply to newly issued, renewed, and duplicate driver's licenses and identification cards produced by a state. Furthermore, any rulemaking body that is prescribing new standards for driver's licenses or personal identification cards must perform an assessment of the annual benefits and costs of its recommendations. The federal government should provide adequate funding to states to implement any required mandate stemming from the rulemaking. At no time should the rulemaking body propose an unfunded mandate on states.

  • by budcub ( 92165 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @06:53PM (#14467899) Homepage
    The 55 mph speed limit was repealed by the 1994 Republican Congress. I know higher speed limits did manage to pop up here and there before then, but giving the authority to set speed limits back to the states was one of the things on their agenda. One of the few things about them that I agreed with.
  • by eric76 ( 679787 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @07:00PM (#14467954)
    1) The Constitution states in the "Bill of Rights" set of ammendments some things the government cannot do. Creating a national ID isn't prohibited. Sure, the Constitution doesn't order the government to create a national ID either, but by default what isn't prohibited is allowed.

    That's quite incorrect.

    Read the 9th and 10th amendments:

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    In other words, according to the Bill of Rights, the fact that a right is not explicitly enumerated does not mean we don't have that right.

    And, from the 10th Amendment, all powers that are not given to the government by the Constition and that are not prohibited by it to the states are reserved for the people or the states.

    Thus, the Federal Government has no legal powers that are not explicitly set forth in the Constitution.

  • by JimBobJoe ( 2758 ) <> on Friday January 13, 2006 @07:16PM (#14468085)
    I've written about non-compliance as a solution [] to the REAL ID Act.

    Fortunately the act was written so states could decline to comply, and not have to deal with losing funding (which is unavailable to help states comply anyway.)

    As I point out, on a day to day basis most people don't need a federally accepted ID card. It's cheaper for the states to tell people who need a federal ID card to just get a passport (which about 25% of Americans already have.)

    If worse comes to worst, the occasionaly traveller can just travel ID-less. The airline will decide what to do with the ID card, and if it's not accepted, the passenger will become a selectee (which is the normal procedure for a passenger without ID.)

  • Comment removed (Score:5, Informative)

    by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @07:27PM (#14468157)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion
  • Re:Tacking on bills (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ryan C. ( 159039 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @08:01PM (#14468415)
    I'm an American so I'll give it a shot.

    The problem is that there is nothing in our laws or constitution to prevent it, and so it would take a fundemental revamping of our congressional bylaws to fix the problem.

    Congress did it once not too long ago, by giving the Executive branch a "line item veto" power. This meant that the president could veto riders and send them back to pass by 2/3rds majority on their own. Since almost all riders are bullshit pork that only a small minority want in the first place, this effectively meant that the president could wipe out pork. Worked wonderfully, and was a big part of why the budget got balanced under Clinton. The only problem was that it also made the president a near king who could reshape bills at will, and congress quickly got rid of the provision. Congress remained pissed off at Clinton for exposing how much money could easily be saved by eliminating pork projects, and this had a lot more to do with his subsequent impeachment than any blowjob.

    So there you have it, riders benefit congressional power, and congress has sole authority to change their own bylaws. So they won't be fixing this any time soon.
  • Very Wrong! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Teun ( 17872 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @08:10PM (#14468477) Homepage
    They need to decide that at the borders, and not let in anyone we need to be protected from.

    Trying to be funny I hope...

    The criminals that committed the bombings in Londen were all British citizen, border checks would not have helped any.
    Even the 9/11 criminals entered the US quite legally.

    Save for making these criminals unacceptable in their own community only good old fashioned criminal investigations and undercover work can help us.

    The proposed law has a completely different goal.

  • Re:New acronym (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2006 @08:32PM (#14468619)
    UFIA is also an acronym for "Unwanted Finger In Anus"

    Watch Aussie rugby sometime:)
  • Real Republican (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2006 @09:03PM (#14468793)
    I dont appologise for being political.

    This is simply a statement of fact.

    The Republican Party controls every level of American Federal Government. Their Right Wing agendas have been the driving force behind the Iraq War, The Destruction of American Privacy and the Ballooning of the powers in the hands of the president. Dialogue on the possible abuse of this power is being squelched by party lines in all levels of government and the press.

    If you don't like American Trends - remove the party in power. Vote.

    Be critical, and examine all your available options. But remember the recent scandals, deficit and the war in Iraq all happenned on a completely Republican watch.

    Support free media and speach - it is the biggest reason to keep a free internet.

  • by QuantumFTL ( 197300 ) * on Friday January 13, 2006 @09:35PM (#14468943)
    Thus, the Federal Government has no legal powers that are not explicitly set forth in the Constitution.

    Check out the Necessary and Proper clause []. This is used to justify almost all of the expansion of the federal government from its original, limited role.

    Not saying I agree in this circumstance, but really... where does it say in the constitution that the federal government can have education and energy policies? Or spy on their own people?
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Friday January 13, 2006 @09:43PM (#14468984) Homepage Journal
    1. The Federal government has no provision in the Constitution in order to force anyone to carry ID. When I fly, I still refuse to show my ID to any government agency and the TSA couldn't do anything about it.

    2. For those who intend to mention it, the commerce clause was intended to keep the STATES from hurting trade. It was never meant to allow the Federal government any power to tax, regulate, mandate or require.

    3. The entire Federal government is unconstitutional. Every officer that takes an oath to uphold the Constitution has broken that oath. I believe this is possibly treason, and the penalty for treason should be public hanging if found guilty.

    4. I'm finished with this mess. If you're ready to take steps to get yourself out of the authoritarian rut, cancel your bank accounts, switch from a salaried employee to a 1099 contractor, stop using credit cards and loans, sell your house and buy something without a mortgage, store your wealth in gold and silver and work to start your own company. Get out from under the hands of these bastards.

    5. If the day comes that the dollar crashes, I'll be taking names for anyone who wants to toil on my land in trade for food and shelter.

    Seriously, though, this is just nuts. I refuse my ID to everyone already (except private companies who request it for me to enter their private property). In Illinois we have laws requiring me to show my ID when I am pulled over for a traffic stop -- I refuse. I don't even roll the window down more than a crack. I tell the (possibly fake) officer that I refuse to speak, and if there is a problem he can call another squad car in to arrest me and charge me with a crime. This is the proper way to deal with speeding tickets (and I've been arrested on a ticket only once in a dozen times in a dozen years -- and the officer's boss let me go immediately).

    Stop helping the system! Stop using their services. Just walk away. Life is much better when you're free.
  • Re:Real ID (Score:2, Informative)

    by mpaque ( 655244 ) on Friday January 13, 2006 @11:11PM (#14469341)
    But right now, our system is deeply flawed. We are IDed by our Social Security # in a mass of places and financial applications - which is leading to ever increasing Identity theft. Who would have thought? A 9-10 digit number with a name attached, which one has to give out everywhere, to be used in ID theft?

    Absolutely. We will all be much more secure with a RealID card, through which we will all be identified by a number with a name attached. There is no way anyone would consider using a RealID name and number for identity theft, unless, perhaps, the government and related organizations started using that data for tracking people. I'm sure the requirement for a common machine-readable technology" doesn't imply that anyone will actually be reading or collecting this information, or associating it with other personal data.

    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. They are readily scanned by proximity systems without requiring direct contact.

    The card must contain, 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. The address must be a physical address, and not a post office box. Homeland Security is permitted to add additional requirements, such as a fingerprint or retinal scan, in addition to the minimum requirements.

    If you have nothing to hide, there is no reason to be concerned. The Real ID system will only serve to keep you safe and secure. [] Remember, Citizen, The Computer is your friend!

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.