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Washington State To Try RFID Drivers Licenses 153

tverbeek tells us about a program the state of Washington has approved, to issue RFID-equipped drivers licenses to facilitate cross-border traffic. The idea is to load the drivers license with information proving citizenship, so that (with Department of Homeland Security approval) the bearer doesn't need to carry a passport — which otherwise will be required to re-enter the US from Canada beginning in 2009. The "enhanced" licenses will require applicants to submit to an in-person interview and to show proof of citizenship. A pilot program in Washington begins January 2008. Officials hope for DHS approval of the program before the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 causes a spike in cross-border traffic.
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Washington State To Try RFID Drivers Licenses

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  • by FirstTimeCaller ( 521493 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:27PM (#18482171)
    First they want to tax internet purchases, now they want to put RFID tags on my license. I think our legislators are hopped up on too much StarBucks... I liked it better when they didn't do anything.
  • Re:Non-citizens? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Vulture ( 248871 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:07PM (#18482413) Homepage
    As I've been told by many pedant border crossing officials (in Toronto), an H-1B is not a visa.

    My immigration attorney actually addressed this situation with me, because he knows that I like to travel, and I mentioned that I'd like to head to San Diego sometime soon. His advice is to carry your I-94 form (which should be stapled in your passport), and you should be fine.

    On Interstate 8, where it's close to the border, they apparently do checks every now and then, especially if they see a broken-down car.

    -- Joe
  • worthless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by deblau ( 68023 ) <> on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:16PM (#18482835) Journal

    The idea is to load the drivers license with information proving citizenship
    Driver's licenses are not authentication, they are evidence of a license to drive on State roads. They were not designed to satisfy strong authentication [] protocols. They can only properly be used* once a person has been authenticated in other ways**. To see how massively ineffective they are at authentication, see here [].

    For the love of all that is right in the world, stop trying to use them for more than they were designed.

    * By used, I mean to offer evidence to the person 'using' it that the possessor has permission to drive on the roads. It's only evidence, it's not conclusive. Using it for other things (e.g. checking age at a bar) is foolish.

    ** For instance, checking the car's registration against the DMV database to see if the driver's name, address, tags, and VIN line up.

  • Re:Scary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:01AM (#18484091)

    Well actually no. These people are refugees. Under international conventions which australia is signatory to, refugees have the right to seek asylum in Australia.

    No, they're illegal immigrants. If they were refugees and had followed the appropriate procedures for that status to be determined before they arrived, they'd be allowed in.

    People entering the country *might* be refugees. Then again, they might be criminals, smugglers, or simply individuals who had been denied entry in the past for any number of reasons reasons. The purpose of immigration control is to determine these things and act accordingly.

    Australian society clearly doesn't have a major problem with refugees (or, indeed, immigrants in general). We take in a relatively large number of them.

    Well not always. There is a reason these people left their country. Often it is because they are a political dissident, and fear for their lives

    Often it's because their country just sucks and they don't want to live there.

    Do you like being able to travel freely across your own country without having to prove yourself when crossing state lines?. Yes? Apply the same rule here. You're not scared of people from another state are you?

    There is a vast gulf of difference between moving between two states in the same country and moving between different countries. You can pretend otherwise as much as you want, stamp your foot and insist it's the same thing until you're blue in the face, but it won't change reality.

    On the topic of racism. The Australian government spends millions trying to keep out refugees (which are mostly from middle eastern countries). On the other hand they do fuck all about British tourist who have overstayed their visas.

    Illegal immigrants we know nothing about and tourists overstaying their visas are - by definition - two fundamentally different demographics. Conflating them is naive stupidity at best, deceptive propoganda at worst.

    I'm still waiting to find out what your address is. You do have the courage of your convictions and happily let anyone who walks in off the street into your home, right ?

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan