Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Repeal the REAL ID Act! - Block the road to National ID cards

The following article and call to action was published in the 3/6/07 issue of The EFFector, the weekly newsletter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation http://eff.org

If you don't oppose this Department of Homeland Security policy, I don't think you have considered all the privacy implications. Also, there are many more positive uses that could be made of the $20 Billion proposed than creating yet another massive new database. /Dick


* Action Alert - Repeal the REAL ID Act!

The federal government took another step last week towards
forcing you to carry a national ID in order to get on
airplanes, open a bank account, enter federal buildings,
and much more. But with state legislatures and
Congressional representatives increasingly turning against
the REAL ID Act, you can help stop this costly, privacy-
invasive mandate -- voice your opposition now:
<
http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=275>

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
released draft regulations for implementing REAL ID, which
makes states standardize drivers' licenses and create a
vast national database linking all of the ID records
together. Once in place, uses of the IDs and database will
inevitably expand to facilitate a wide range of tracking
and surveillance activities. Remember, the Social Security
number started innocuously enough, but it has become a
prerequisite for a host of government services and has been
co-opted by private companies to create massive databases
of personal information.

REAL ID won't just cost you your privacy. The states and
individual taxpayers bear the estimated 23 billion dollar
burden of implementing the law, and that figure is probably
low given that the necessary verification systems don't
exist yet.

And what will you get in return? Not improved national
security, because IDs do little to stop those who haven't
already been identified as threats, and wrongdoers will
still be able to create fake documents.

REAL ID is fundamentally flawed, and DHS' proposed
regulations do nothing to change that. Thankfully, the tide
is turning against REAL ID in a big way -- state
legislatures around the country are passing or considering
legislation rejecting its implementation, and Congress is
considering repealing it.

The DHS regulations mean that states must have an
implementation plan ready by October 2007. Make sure your
Congressional representatives support the repeal of REAL ID
before it's too late:
<
http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=275>

Read the San Jose Mercury News' editorial, "Time to drop
expensive, unrealistic ID plan":
<
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/16843010.htm>

For more information about the REAL ID Act:
<
http://www.eff.org/Privacy/ID/RealID/>

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