It appears that the battle has all but been lost regarding a National ID card in the United States. Through a tacked on bit of legislation to a military appropriations bill that is considered “must have” the Federal government is mandating the REAL ID program. This will require the States to standardize driver’s licenses with all kinds of wonderful bits of identifiable information and have it read via some electronic means (magnetic stripe, RFID, you make the call). Yeah, sounds like a National ID card to me. And if burying this legislation in an unrelated spending bill that is seen as a must for passage wasn’t a good indication that something slimy was going on, then check this out. The legislation doesn’t go into effect until 3 years after passage. In war I believe they call those landmines, or in terrorism terms I think this would be a sleeper cell.
Unfortunately the media discovered this a bit too late (funny how things get overlooked when they are buried deep in spending bills with 3 year lags on taking effect) and it has already passed the House and the Senate will vote tomorrow (Tuesday May 10, 2005).
For what it is worth, please write your elected officials and tell them that you oppose any such legislation dictating a National ID card, and that research has shown repeatedly that such legislation will not make us a safer, just further erode our personal privacy and freedom (sounds like an ongoing theme these days). You can write them through UnrealID.com or as always through Congress.Org. Of course the way the erosion of privacy and freedom is going in DC you will probably get audited and put on a watch list for expressing your opinion.
Security guru Bruce Schneier has posted on this and has some great links on the subject. Goodbye freedom and democracy, hello communism, eh comrade…. And the saddest part is we elected these officials to protect us and look out for our best interests (I know statements like these will keep you rolling on the floor laughing for hours).