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REAL ID In Its Death Throes, Says ACLU 315

Dr. Eggman points us to Ars Technica for an article on the ACLU's view of the latest loosening and deadline extensions for REAL ID act compliance by the Department of Homeland Security. The rights organization believes that REAL ID is doomed. "The ACLU, which opposes the plan on civil liberties grounds, says that the many changes made since the Act was passed [in 2005] nearly 'negate the original intent of the program.' 'DHS is essentially whittling Real ID down to nothing... all in the name of denying Real ID is a failure,' said ACLU senior legislative counsel Tim Sparapani. 'Real ID is in its death throes, and any signs of life are just last gasps.'"
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REAL ID In Its Death Throes, Says ACLU

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  • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @03:59PM (#21258335) Homepage
    The rights organization believes that REAL ID is doomed.

    Yeah, but they'll just do what they did with CARNIVORE. Wait a few months, change the name, and go about their plans as usual.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:01PM (#21258347)
    DHS is at pains to point out that REAL ID is not a national identity card program but a set of regulations that direct states how to create their drivers' licenses and state ID cards. The program mandates digital photos, bar-coded information, and more stringent document checks, and it directs all states to link their databases with one another.

    So with the bar-coded information we can't wipe the readability of the card with a magnet to stop the assholes at bars, liquors stores, etc from scanning us unnecessarily. Digital photos means that everyone's picture will be merged into the database of information shared with everyone else and "more stringent document checks" means that even more information will be in that same database. When all this information is linked how is it not a national ID database again?

    I'm proud of the states that didn't crumble under the pressure of the Federal Government. At least someone out there is willing to tell them to fuck off -- regardless if it was over funding and not privacy implications.
  • It's a shame. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kabocox ( 199019 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:09PM (#21258439)
    There are things that I think that the ACLU should fight. This isn't one of them though. RealID will never really go away. What it'll become is a federal requirement for the next incarnation of state DLs having to match a federal data standard. This is generally a good thing. What the really big up roar with the current RealID is that many states have gone their own way with having bar codes or digital information on their DLs, but only that state's systems can read the info off the card, and no one is willing to spend additional money just to conform to a federal standard. The main idea behind RealID is that you could have any of the 50 state's DL and they'd all "just work" in each other's and the federal computer system. Making "just work" would require lots of effort and money though.

    Let's be honest there is no additional privacy problems with RealID. If you are in a position to be stopped and asked for State or Federal ID by a state or federal government official for government services, then you are either going to provide that information in a verbal or written form to those federal, state, or city officials or you won't be receiving that government service that you wanted. If you wanted to access a "controlled access area", then you could be "detained" while those government officials make sure that you aren't on any most wanted list, have outstanding warrants or on any special watch for lists.

    If the government is hunting for you, they know your name and last known address. RealID was supposed to make it trivial to swipe a DL through a reader so all that DL info could be auto populated rather than manually entered. This is supposed to be a the huge privacy concern needing ACLU attention?
  • Cheers to the ACLU (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Maestro485 ( 1166937 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:16PM (#21258521)
    It's sometimes easy to forget about the work that organizations such as the ACLU do. I doubt most citizens are even aware of the kind of things that the ACLU actively fights for.

    Organizations like these should be applauded for their work. We need more people willing to do this kind of thing.
  • Re:It's a shame. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:18PM (#21258557)
    RealID did nothing beneficial, but made it real easy for the feds to watch your movements.


    Make it a federal requirement for everything.

    Alcohol? Scan.
    Cigarettes? Scan.
    Bank transactions? Scan.
    Anything they want a scan done on, they just ram through a federal law to require a scan of your RealID.

    What purpose does this serve? Security? Gimme a freaking break. It does nothing but needlessly invade the privacy of every citizen of this country while providing ZERO security whatsoever.

    It's a program that needs to die and STAY DEAD. Lest you be required to present your RealID any time a cop asks or risk arrest (federal requirements for travel between states you know, commerce clause and whatnot...)
  • Re:Real ID (Score:3, Insightful)

    by megaditto ( 982598 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:23PM (#21258611)
    Why wouldn't you want the 'illegals' to be licensed and insured if they are going to drive anyway?
  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:26PM (#21258655) Homepage Journal

    That all of the 9/11 terrorists had valid ID's

    Granted, there might be some benefits to a unified ID across the 50 states, but combating terrorism isn't one of them. Instead, we should be asking if the other so-called benefits are worth the privacy invation and expansion of the Federal government that this program would entail.

    Exactly why are my Federal tax dollars being used for this sort of thing, when it seems perfectly clear that my state government is already perfectly capable of issuing ID? The implications that someone is a terrorist if they can't produce the "satisfactory" identification document is a Constitutional problem, not a law enforcement issue.

    Besides, what would an elderly father in law - who can't legally drive - do? Should he really be denied seeing his daughter married because he can't produce the ID to board a plane? This bill assumes (incorrectly) that everyone has an ID. That's not the way it's supposed to work.

  • Re:It's a shame. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stevedcc ( 1000313 ) * on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:27PM (#21258665)

    "Let's be honest there is no additional privacy problems with RealID." The government wants to share data with Mexico, Europe and Canada and you don't consider that a privacy problem? The government want to eventually get RFID into DLs and you don't consider that a privacy problem? Let me guess, you are from North Korea or the former East Germany?
    Excuse me, but Europe actually has data privacy laws, unlike the USA. If your data DID get over here, at least the law prevents it being used for any purpose other than the one for which it was legitemately obtained. Whereas when MY data was given ILLEGALY to the American government because I got on a plane to the US, it had no protection at all.
  • by FrankieBaby1986 ( 1035596 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:29PM (#21258693)
    I'd say its the drinking age that does the most to contribute to underage drinking.
  • by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:36PM (#21258787)
    Why should government be stopping anyone from drinking? That's a job for the parents in my book. It also takes away the "I want to drink because I'm not supposed to" attitude.
  • by cromar ( 1103585 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:40PM (#21258839)
    More anarchy, crime, terrorism, fear... or stronger government.

    Our government perpetrates more anarchy, crime, terrorism, and fear than any "enemy combatants."

    ...but that's for political theorists, not technical writers.

    No, its not for political theorists. It is for the governed to decide how they will be governed. You don't need a degree in Political Science to know the difference between right and wrong.
  • Re:Real ID (Score:2, Insightful)

    by l1gunman ( 463233 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:44PM (#21258893)
    Better still, when the illegals show up to claim their latest 'benefit' of being in this country (their shiny new driver's license) grab 'em and ship 'em home. For Pete's sake, why call them illegals if we're not going to treat them as such?
  • Re:Real ID (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alan_dershowitz ( 586542 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @04:49PM (#21258969)
    Because the driver's license has been a de-facto state ID since forever, and changing that would upset a lot of social convenience. It seems like a lot of anguish so that some politicians can passive-aggressively avoid dealing with the immigration debate. The logical and correct solution is to stop avoiding the immigration debate. It's stupid on its face to everyone who doesn't have an agenda to give state IDs to people who are not here legally.
  • Re:Real ID (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JewGold ( 924683 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @05:33PM (#21259599)
    The key word is ILLEGAL. If I were to walk into the DMV carrying a huge baggie of crack, which is illegal, I'd most likely be leaving in handcuffs. So why can an illegal walk into the DMV with documents basically proving he's a non-citizen and expect to be treated any differently?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @05:43PM (#21259735)
    I don't understand exactly how such IDs would be a violation of our privacy. We already have such identification. The key distinction is that it's a scattered mess of documentation, spread across a driver's license, passport, social security card and who knows what else? How exactly is conveniently condensing all that information onto a single card an invasion of privacy?

    I neither carry nor am required to carry a social security card or passport. Putting that info on my main form of ID (driver's license) puts more eggs in the least secure basket. Also, a driver's license shouldn't be required to drive - but I digress.

    I'm a lot more concerned about the trend I see with our government trying to control every aspect of our lives, for the so-called good of the people. A modernized form of ID is a non-event.

    When you fail to care for other people's freedom, don't be surprised when the favor is returned ten-fold.

  • by cuantar ( 897695 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @05:58PM (#21259951) Homepage
    You really should read this before making up your mind like that. []

    Also note that while he doesn't support abortion, Dr. Paul thinks it's an issue that should be left to the states to decide, per the Constitution. His platform is based upon upholding the Constitution that all of the other candidates seem to have conveniently forgotten about, and his voting record supports what he says.
  • by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <falconsoaring_2000 AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @04:27AM (#21264435)

    Habeus doesn't apply to Gitmo. Period.

    Jose Padilla [] wasn't captured in Afghanistan, but he was arrested in Chicago, IL. Nor was he sent to Gitmo, but he was held incommunicado in the USA. As were others. Oh, I see you mention him. There's also Hamdi [] who though captured in Afghanistan is a US citizen. And the USSC ruled he could not be deprived of Habeas Corpus.


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