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

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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  • Life easier? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by crhylove ( 205956 ) <> on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:39PM (#17953416) Homepage Journal
    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?

  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:40PM (#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 gd23ka ( 324741 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:40PM (#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 JesseL ( 107722 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:41PM (#17953434) Homepage Journal
    Because black markets, theft, and underground manufacturing don't exist in real life, and giving the government an absolute monopoly not only on the use of force but on the ability to use force is a real win for freedom.

    Could you send me a postcard from your world?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:41PM (#17953438)
    This, too, would never happen.
    How dense does one have to be?

    "When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out."
  • Playing on fears (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MonGuSE ( 798397 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:41PM (#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
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:43PM (#17953470)
    "For all you extreme left wing whakos start hollering"
    "Before any of you ultra-right wing neocon folks start bashing me"

    Does everyone have to be so pejorative all the time? Are are these the only kind of people that could possibly disagree with you?
  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:44PM (#17953480) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like a solution rather than a problem.

    Well, I guess we know your politics. Seriously though, statements like these are simply non-starters that close off the dialogue before it can even start. So, you are telling me that you are gleefully giving away your rights to privacy of your person and documents, happy to waive your rights to travel without being identified or tracked, and more?

    If so, you sir, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  • by StealthyRoid ( 1019620 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:52PM (#17953622) Homepage
    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 the National ID system, there's nothing preventing forgery or fraudulent usage of the base documents used to get an ID card (social security card, birth cert, whatever). There's no reason Achmed bin Terrorist can't roll up to the National ID store with some real documents that, for example, aren't his but also haven't been used to generate another National ID, and get a card for himself.

    There's also no reason to assume that, unique among all other ID cards, the National ID will be unforgeable, or that even if it is, the staff employed to verify that an ID card is legit will do their jobs. Government employees are the lowest common denominator in the best case, and ID checking unskilled zombies aren't likely to be any better.

    Identity is not security, and LACK of identity is not a lack of security.
  • Some thoughts... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DnemoniX ( 31461 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:26PM (#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...
  • by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:40PM (#17954570) Journal
    Time to feed the troll, we all enjoy it. :)

    The government should never be trusted!

    George Washington (1732 - 1799)
    Government Like Fire

    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force.
    Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

    It is not the governments job to ID me, tag me, or give a flying F**K what I do, provided I do not infringe on others rights.

    What is the government's job?

    Try this

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed.

    The government's job is to secure our rights, not to remove them!

    So, while you accept the ID cards, I do not! While you accept restrictions on your rights (To keep and bear arms), I do NOT! While you accept restrictions on your rights, I resist them! I will continue to resist them tell the day I die.

  • by Intron ( 870560 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:49PM (#17954766)
    "...and keeping taxes as low as possible."

    But not deficits. $100B in 1981 shot up to $250B by 1984. Seems like GWB is following in his footsteps. It's pretty easy to keep taxes low when you are sticking someone else with the bill.
  • Easy button (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anomalyst ( 742352 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:56PM (#17954950)
    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).
  • by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:15PM (#17956500)

    As a better example: Gay marriage. States have basically exempted themselves (with judicial approval) from the full faith and credit clause when dealing with homosexual couples who marry in a state where it is legal.
    In order for that to be the case, the fed govt had to pass the Defense of Marriage Act which might not even stand up to a constitutional challange.
  • by UpnAtom ( 551727 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:26PM (#17956664) Homepage
    Um, did you read my whole post - I referenced at least 3 articles. Also, I'd have thought somebody posting on Slashdot would understand a little bit about databases.

    Once you have accomplished the mammoth task of creating a central index numbering all citizens, it is a short step to make any classification of them you want.

    Another incorrect assumption is that govts only want to persecute nationalities/races. They're much more likely to persecute political opposition.
  • Just missed it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xstonedogx ( 814876 ) <> on Friday February 09, 2007 @08:19PM (#17957322)

    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 protect you from corporate interests, identity theft, corruption in government (and elsewhere), and the government itself? The answer is almost certainly no, right?

    I'm all for a government issued standard ID (even a global standard) if:

    -It is opt-in. I mean completely opt-in. You can not get one and your life will just be a little less convenient (like having a university give you an ID number rather than using your social). You can get one, but pick and choose where you use it.
    -Some kind of guarantee that the ID will not suffice as the sole evidence of guilt. (E.g. the fact that your ID was used to access an ATM should not, per se, be evidence that you robbed it.)
    -Privacy laws are updated such that only first parties have access to any information they gather on you. (Except for law enforcement who _must_ get a warrant.)

    Since all of these are probably barring radical social/political change, I say "no thanks" to the convenience offered.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!