Join 3,557 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Tag 'Em and Bag 'Em
May 6, 2005 1:28 PM   Subscribe

How "Real ID" Act will affect you [CNET]
Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service.
posted by dand (94 comments total)

 
RFID in already in the new US passports, why not in the internal passport as well? Cops should be able to tell which IDs, or RFID products and RFID pets are in a house or licensed car before approaching. No need for checkout, just take your RFID groceries out any door in Wal-Mart and they can deduct from the account associated with your mandated federal ID card. Get a chip implanted if you like. The future is wide open.
posted by dand at 1:29 PM on May 6, 2005


The next thing you know the SOBs will be wanting to take all my guns!

I blame Clinton!
posted by mygoditsbob at 1:32 PM on May 6, 2005


This is, of course, assuming that the legislation passes.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:36 PM on May 6, 2005


This is, also, fairly old news.
posted by mischief at 1:42 PM on May 6, 2005


Can't we all just get along?
Won't someone think of the children?
Why do you hate America?
Your right to privacy means the terrorists have won.
posted by badger_flammable at 1:43 PM on May 6, 2005


It's new news because it passed the House yesterday, and is expected to pass the Senate w/o problem because it's attached to a military spending bill. And Bush already said he'd sign it.
posted by smackfu at 1:44 PM on May 6, 2005


This is, of course, assuming that the legislation passes.

And that's looking likely according to the article:
Is this legislation a done deal?

Pretty much. The House of Representatives approved the package on Thursday by a vote of 368-58. Only three of the "nay" votes were Republicans; the rest were Democrats. The Senate is scheduled to vote on it next week and is expected to approve it as well.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan has told reporters "the president supports" the standalone Real ID Act, and the Bush administration has come out with an official endorsement. As far back as July 2002, the Bush administration has been talking about assisting "the states in crafting solutions to curtail the future abuse of drivers' licenses by terrorist organizations."
posted by jperkins at 1:45 PM on May 6, 2005


As the ID is required to be "machine readable", esp if its RFID, then I could see software/games/music/DVDs tied to the presence of the ID. Its an intellectual property dream to license to a single user, there was just never a reliable personal ID till now.
posted by dand at 1:54 PM on May 6, 2005


My advice is to blame Clinton. Blaming Dubya will shortly be illegal, punishable by death. Bring your ID card to your interrogation, torture, show trial, and disappearance, so that your FedBank account can be billed for costs incurred.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:54 PM on May 6, 2005


I blame Clinton!

You can blame who ever you want. The reality is that Bill Clinton is not signing this bill.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:21 PM on May 6, 2005


I'd have to get off my lazy butt and look, but I think my driver's license already has a bar code on it. Does this bill necessarily mean there'll be some brand-new ID that everybody would have to get from the State Dept or the Dept of Homeland Security?
posted by alumshubby at 4:08 PM on May 6, 2005


Carrying a card around everywhere in order to buy, sell, or have the freedom to travel freely is so totalitarian and inconvenient...

I'd sell my soul if they would just implant a permanent mark on me... say, on my hand or my forehead, or perhaps under my hair somewhere.

RFID me, baby!
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:21 PM on May 6, 2005


Here are the details on the bill.

It's possible that a state has driver's licenses that comply already, but the id requirements are a bit stricter than states usually require.
posted by smackfu at 4:22 PM on May 6, 2005


Wait, don't we already need "federally approved" IDs to fly? As in my work ID won't let me onto a plane, but my driver's license will. Is this creating a new ID, or creating standards for state licenses?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 4:22 PM on May 6, 2005


Is this creating a new ID, or creating standards for state licenses?

It's mostly the latter. But that doesn't sound as alarmist. Of course, you already need a photo ID to fly or open a bank account.

OMG! You will need to show your GOVERNMENT ID CARD to get in bars!
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:26 PM on May 6, 2005


Your papers, please, comrade.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:32 PM on May 6, 2005


I wonder if the companies who will create the cards, databases, and card readers for these ids have already been selected. Nah, they wouldn't do that before the legislation passes would they?
posted by chowder at 4:34 PM on May 6, 2005


Who woulda thunk that after all those years opposing a national ID card, the Republicans would be the party to make it a reality?
posted by bashos_frog at 4:40 PM on May 6, 2005


OMG! You will need to show your GOVERNMENT ID CARD to get in bars!

Satire, I assume, aimed the alarmists? Dumb. The point is that the fed is once again intruding on state and individual rights. Big government under the Republicans, it seems, would be the order of the day.

And all for what? Safety? Homeland security? Gimme a fucking break. It might not be the hullabullo the conspiracy minded person makes it out to be, but it is a flagrant overstep.
posted by undule at 4:42 PM on May 6, 2005


OMG! You will need to show your GOVERNMENT ID CARD to get in bars!

FYI - some bars already machine scan your ID and store the info. Think Uncle Sam might be interested in making that mandatory as well? For public saftey/dwi reasons of course - not to find out exactly who has been frequenting the leather bars. And of course they'd never make that information publicly available for a fee, like a credit report.
posted by bashos_frog at 4:44 PM on May 6, 2005


So, if I refuse to acknowledge or use this crapulent Federal, anti-sovereign-states Identification card how exactly do I leave the fucking country if I need one to fly?

Will they accept my World Service Authority passport or should I start practicing sucking Authoritarian Cock(TM) right now?
posted by loquacious at 4:48 PM on May 6, 2005


> Wait, don't we already need "federally approved" IDs to fly?

Not a single unique number that is used to track you in a shared state and federal database. The SSN is the closest thing to a "voluntary" unique ID, but you don't have to give that out to write a check as with your driver's license.
posted by dand at 4:51 PM on May 6, 2005


The point is that the fed is once again intruding on state and individual rights.

Didn't the Republicans do that back in 1861 too?

Way too serious a topic for a Friday.
posted by a3matrix at 4:53 PM on May 6, 2005


I for one think it would be convenient to combine marital status, medical information, address, voter registration information, drivers license, ss card, buying habits, daily travel routine and web surfing habits all into one nifty ID card. Then at the end of each day I can log-in to my National ID Admin panel and review what I did with my time and money. Hopefully they'll add all that stuff to the card as soon as possible.
posted by chowder at 4:54 PM on May 6, 2005


At the risk of discouraging anyone from RTFA, here's highlights.

Yes this means a NEW STANDARD for state ID/licenses, which is much more strict than current pretty much everywhere. It means that the DMV will need 4 peices of ID to verify your DOB, citizenship, address, identity AND that the girl behind the counter is going to have to verify each of these with the appropriate database before she can get that crappy picture to the laminating machine.

This also means that the ID will have biometric info. The best biometric info, the humble fingerprint, is only correctly machine readable at best 98% of the time, which sounds great until you realize that means it *will fail* 2% of the time. When you have almost 300,000,000 people in the country, let's say one in a hundred has to get a scan any given day, that brings us to 300,000. That means at least 2% -- 6000 -- failures daily.

The other thing is that all databases will be open to one another, creating one-stop-identity-theft. Also, this info can be managed by private databases, which have much lower accuracy, collection, and disclosure benchmarks than we would tolerate of most government agencies. If you have been following the news lately, you know there have been at least a dozen high profile cases of corporate database breach in the last few months.

And yes, they are saying that if you do not have this approved ID, you will not be able to board an airplane, get on a city bus, or enter a federal building. Which means, for example, you won't be able to contest the IRS audit.

Finally, actual security experts like Schneier say it won't make us any safer, won't catch bad guys, won't keep fake IDs away from actual criminals. At best it may keep a couple of 19 year olds from drinking. At worst it may make us *less* safe.

So yes this is a big deal, and anybody who poohpoohs this off doesn't understand the issues involved.
posted by ilsa at 4:59 PM on May 6, 2005


Well, I love alarmism and all, but this really just sounds like another little gift to rich "friends-of-government" packaged up in another useless government service that'll cost X billion tax payer dollars.

Robbing me and everybody I know to pay off some rich asshole? Well, I've always been against that. And it's already been proven that the rest of the country doesn't quite care as much as I do. Meh.
posted by shmegegge at 5:04 PM on May 6, 2005


What ever happened to the religious types (the same that now seem to hold great sway over our government) saying this sort of thing was the 'mark of the beast' and the beginning of the end times?
posted by UseyurBrain at 5:04 PM on May 6, 2005


lisa:

DMV will need 4 peices of ID to verify your DOB, citizenship, address, identity AND that the girl behind the counter is going to have to verify each of these with the appropriate database before she can get that crappy picture to the laminating machine.

dunno about your state, but mine already does. You can avoid it by having a driver's id, passport AND birth certificate on you, but then that's still only 3 ids and a lot of people can't get all 3 without serious trouble.

let's say one in a hundred has to get a scan any given day, that brings us to 300,000. That means at least 2% -- 6000 -- failures daily.

You're kidding, right? You're describing a situation that's the same as having to swipe the credit card a second time or retype your atm password again. Hell, my friend's pda uses biometric authentication, and he has to repress his finger sometimes, but it certainly isn't more than 1 second of hassle.

creating one-stop-identity-theft

like social security? like your credit info? we've already got one-stop identity theft. We've just got it everywhere.

I mean, it's a stupid plan, it's a waste of resources, but it's not the end of the world. You can hate it, but don't hate it like it's fascism. Hate it like it's Catch-22.
posted by shmegegge at 5:13 PM on May 6, 2005


Sounds like it's time for you all to pack up your survivalist gear and head to the hills. ;-P
posted by mischief at 5:16 PM on May 6, 2005


What is not mentioned is protection of that data. It's not mentioned possibly because there may be nothing in the bill about data protection and use other than all the things the government can do with it. When it passes and the Homeland guy starts defining all the needs and requirements and all the times some one must check it (don't think that every business will be petitioning and campaign contributing to insure that somehow they need to scan and collect this data for some terroristic reason), we had better be pressing for controls. Such as, if it is shown that any business sold, distributed, or allowed data to go missing the CEO gets an automatic 10 year prison term. If it is found that at any time the government used the data for anything more that what it was explicitly authorized the Homeland guy in charge at the time of the use goes to prison for 10 years automatically, even if he has been out of office sometime when the use is discovered. With the government guys it should even be if they are dead there closest living relative goes.
posted by mss at 5:19 PM on May 6, 2005


it doesn't seem so far fetched to me to be worried about going to the airport and not being able to catch a flight because my thumb scan didn't work. i can count the number of times on one hand probably that my debt card hasn't worked at a gas station or supermarket (i'm talking about at all, not even a second or third swipe), but those are trivial activities compared to boarding a plane, going to court, catching the bus to work to make a 9:00am meeting. the amount of inconvenience for us may be greater than the amount of good that will come out of it (apples, oranges anyone?).
posted by chowder at 5:20 PM on May 6, 2005


The best part of the act is section 102 (from Thomas):
SEC. 102. WAIVER OF LAWS NECESSARY FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BARRIERS AT BORDERS.

Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended to read as follows:

`(c) Waiver-

`(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

`(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction--

`(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or


`(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'.
[via /.]
posted by MikeKD at 5:42 PM on May 6, 2005


Oooooooooo. WoooooOOOOOooooo. And then they areeeeeest you for stealing your own ideeeeeeentityyyyyyy.

WoooooOOOOOOoooooo.

more scary ghost noises.

I'm sorry, but this kind of alarmism is why people stop taking us seriously when we argue against real problems like the PATRIOT act and the recent rash of Intellectual Property travesties.

Everyone who thought we'd have the exact same id system in this country FOREVER raise your hand. Everyone who has a sane reason for believing that we'd never change a decades old system may keep their hands up, everyone else, hands down. No one left? Huh.

on preview: mss' concerns are very valid.
posted by shmegegge at 5:43 PM on May 6, 2005


My. God.

Show ID to enter a bar? I haven't done that since I was a kid. Please tell me that adults don't actually have to show ID to go to the bar in the USA!

In Canada we have a privacy commissioner. His job is to weigh the public interest against the desires of the government. A few years back the feds had this idea that all the medicare, tax Canada, RCMP, and various other bits and pieces of database all into a single uber-database.

The commish said no way in hell was that allowed. Too much risk of abuse.

Have I mentioned lately that I love Canada? Our government doesn't get away with that sort of shit, thank goodness.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:01 PM on May 6, 2005


Mayor Curley writes " This is, of course, assuming that the legislation passes."

No legislation of this type HASN'T been ratified since 2001. Why should this one be different?
posted by clevershark at 6:04 PM on May 6, 2005


Who woulda thunk that after all those years opposing a national ID card, the Republicans would be the party to make it a reality?

Ahem.
posted by trondant at 9:51 PM on May 6, 2005


Yes, yes, nothing to worry about here. Please stop bringing this to anyones attention. Move along. These aren't the droids your looking for. Etc.

Frog. water. boil. = jump.

Frog. water. slow heat. = cooked frog.

At the very least it's just one more thing that could be misused.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:35 PM on May 6, 2005


What ever happened to the religious types (the same that now seem to hold great sway over our government) saying this sort of thing was the 'mark of the beast' and the beginning of the end times?

Seriously. Where the hell are the right-wing nutjobs when you need 'em? Sheesh. (I can say that because I'm one of them.)

My no-driver's-license, no-credit-card, no-bank-account existence is becoming increasingly untenable. The Republicans are fucking over everyone who's put them where they are. I hope to hell it backfires and we get a real small government party on the ballot sometime soon.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:43 PM on May 6, 2005


(Also: supposedly you don't currently need a photo ID to travel by air. You can elect to withhold government identification if you are willing to be given the third degree before boarding, i.e., cavity search, etc.)
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:45 PM on May 6, 2005


c'mon guys, isn't this exciting?

it's like we're living in a movie!
posted by radiosig at 10:50 PM on May 6, 2005


Show ID to enter a bar? I haven't done that since I was a kid. Please tell me that adults don't actually have to show ID to go to the bar in the USA!

Sometimes. I think it depends on where you are. Here in NYC a lot of bars/stores don't bother, and a lot of the rest seem happy as long as you have a crappy fake.

I went on a trip to Canada in January and I thought it would be a little cool if some bartender asked for ID and I could show mine saying I'm 19 and it would be legal and everything, so of course no Canadian bartender or cashier bothered to check.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:52 PM on May 6, 2005


Just wait until all this information gets tied into Amazon and Yahoo!. Eeep.
posted by deusdiabolus at 11:56 PM on May 6, 2005


The potential for the information to be abused, misused, or sold is bothersome. I'd like to see some specifics in the legislation stating what it can and can't be used for. I'd really prefer that people couldn't lose a job, or their insurance, or whatever else, because it can be seen from the RFID record that the person was known to visit gay bars, or that their presence was logged at a few political conventions, or whatever else.

It'll get hacked and sold, people will raise a hissy, and an unhappy medium will be reached somewhere slightly right of middle where everyone is equally annoyed with it, and that is considered fair. Except maybe the corporations who can provide big enough incentives for the gov't to let them play with the info. They'll be delighted.

All of that aside, I'm as disorganized as I am liberal. The idea of not having to figure out a way to have my driver's license, Social Security card, and birth cert in the same place is kind of nice. I've learned that the simultaneous presence of all three WILL make pockets of unstable antimatter that cause my car to break down and me to misplace stuff.

deusdiablos, I can see it now. "Welcome to Amazon! We have new recommendations for you! People who bought bottled water, tampons, and unleaded gasoline within the past 24 hours also purchased items like..."
posted by cmyk at 12:22 AM on May 7, 2005


Show ID to enter a bar? I haven't done that since I was a kid. Please tell me that adults don't actually have to show ID to go to the bar in the USA!

I'm 32. I look my age. Last year in the US I was ID'd. Of course, I'd left my passport at my friend's house, so I didn't have anything.

Not knowing the laws I figured maybe I could ask for a non-alcoholic drink, but no go. After some back and forth they said 'you're obviously overage, so we'll let you off'.

If I'm obviously overage, why did you need to make such a big thing about ID'ing me? [This was in New Mexico]
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:08 AM on May 7, 2005


I don't know - I don't see the big problem. A Federally approved ID will be necessary to take advantage of Federal programs and Federally regulated ones - which should probably have a choice to opt out. You already need a driver's license and passport (plus fishing, hunting, trucking, gun ownership, other stuff people might have) - now they can probably be combined by having the information on what you are licensed to do centralized.

Biometrics are not 100% reliable these days, but three years down the road they will be better and probably more prevalent. I wouldn't worry about them.

The information you are afraid of letting people have is already out there unless you are actively preventing it from getting out. Freedom of information goes both ways, unfortunately, for example corporations want to know as much about your buying habits as you do about their accounting practices. We are a culture doing battle with ourselves right now over things like this but I believe that given a few years they will be sorted out and cooler heads will prevail.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:50 AM on May 7, 2005


Infinite Jest:

The law in NY, I can't attest for NM, is that if you look under 27 you have to provide id. Since no one knows what 27 looks like definitively, people who are worried about sting operations tend to be overzealous. Chances are that's what happened to you. They may have been worried that you were there to bust them if they didn't card you. Ultimately "You're obviously of age" was their trump card of "I recognize that even if you don't have an id, I'm not selling to a minor and I will claim in court that I even told you that you couldn't be confused for a minor."
posted by shmegegge at 1:57 AM on May 7, 2005


Wait, don't we already need "federally approved" IDs to fly?

Of course, you already need a photo ID to fly .


You DO NOT need ID to fly in America today. Its scary that you guys think you do, and that you are just fine with that idea.
posted by Osmanthus at 2:42 AM on May 7, 2005


Robbing me and everybody I know to pay off some rich asshole

That's the best one-line description I've heard for this administration.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 4:04 AM on May 7, 2005


Please tell me that adults don't actually have to show ID to go to the bar in the USA!

I find this comment amusing, perhaps because the last time I saw someone told he had to leave a bar because he couldn't prove he was of drinking age, I was in Toronto.
posted by oaf at 4:18 AM on May 7, 2005


I hate this government. Everything about it just reeks nazi germany. I know, you'll all think I'm crazy, but what the hell. They already think they need to protect you from watching or hearing things you might chose, of your own volition, to see and hear, because it would be bad for you and you're not smart enough to make the decision for yourself. Meanwhile, they just spent 300billion dollars on a war that hasn't accomplished anything but killing young Americans and I still can't fill my tank for less that $60.
posted by RightsaidFRED at 5:21 AM on May 7, 2005


My guess is that this will end up having the following transitory effects:

1) more identity theft problems (with some possibilities of interesting hacks of RFID if it's used)
2) more counterfeit IDs
3) more peonage and indentured servitude of undocumented workers
4) more agitation at the political margins (the real wackos' underwear has been tightly knotted about this issue for at least ten years.)

Can anyone suggest some positive results that won't make me laugh my morning tea out my nose?
posted by warbaby at 7:33 AM on May 7, 2005


Just to add to the minor derailment of the thread, I've been carded twice here in OH when ordering a beer to go with my cheeseburger. I'm 43 and the light couldn't possibly have been that bad.
posted by alumshubby at 8:20 AM on May 7, 2005


what ilsa said--this is giant tracking system that'll be run by Choicepoint or someone and won't be secure, and won't make us safer. Tying it to a bill funding the troops shows how shady it really is--why couldn't they bring it up for a vote alone?
posted by amberglow at 8:28 AM on May 7, 2005


RightsaidFRED

Agreed, and at the rate we're going, you will not be able to say things like that shortly.
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:28 AM on May 7, 2005


I suppose you'd think finding such IDs evilly totalitarian makes me a "wacko", eh warbaby? Well, that's what they said about Tenskwatawa, and look what happened when his people didn't listen to him.

"Doomsaying wackos" have been succesfully predicting further hardship for stupid people for millenia. Such determined refusal to listen almost makes me want to defect to "the Dark Side".

By the way: "You DO NOT need ID to fly in America today." We don't? Then why are we made to produce it? Maybe you're confusing "do not" with "should not", or maybe you think we've ALL grown feathers.
posted by davy at 8:36 AM on May 7, 2005


oaf: scratch "adult," then, and use "looks like he's over the age of 24." I was carded up to about that age, because I looked like a kid for the longest time. But, sheeeeyit, if someone carded me now at age 38, I'd be pissed. It is obvious I'm over thirty, so the bartender can FOAD.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:38 AM on May 7, 2005


"You DO NOT need ID to fly in America today."

Can you point me to the correct procedures to fly without ID? Particularly how to check-in, and how to get through security.
posted by mosch at 9:01 AM on May 7, 2005


Ahem, the case regarding the need for ID to get on a plane is currently being litigated.
posted by ilsa at 9:12 AM on May 7, 2005


blackleotardfront: Freedom of information goes both ways, unfortunately, for example corporations want to know as much about your buying habits as you do about their accounting practices.

This is, or should be, false.
The problem is that the government, and many people, equate personal and corporate interests. This goes back to corporations being granted the protection of the bill of rights. They should not have the same rights as people. A government's job should be to protect the citizenry against the aggression of others, whether those others are foreign governments with guns, or internal corporations with databases.
posted by papakwanz at 9:29 AM on May 7, 2005


Hence the Ident-i-Eeze. This encoded every single piece of information about you, your body and your life into one all-purpose machine-readable card that you could then carry around in your wallet, and therefore represented technology's greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense.

-- Douglas Adams, "Mostly Harmless"

What pisses me off about this is that it does nothing to make us more safe and in fact, does the opposite. If you're a terrorist, all you have to do is obtain a valid visa and then you can get one of these cards? Wonderful. You'll be whisked through security with your wonderful machine-readable all-purpose ID card, barely looked at by the bored-out-of-their-minds security screeners who have been reduced to little more than an organic machine that swipes cards.

And what does Joe Citizen get out of this? Not a damn thing. Other than the fact that people may be able to steal his identity while walking past me on the sidewalk (RFID? Why? Bar codes have worked perfectly well for decades). Or the fact that he'll now have a brand-new unique ID number that will be disclosed far more commonly than his SSN, allowing the government (and eventually anyone else who starts requiring the card) to definitively track movements and habits with no more effort than typing a query into a computer.

Basically, this has no upside and lots of downside. I don't mind having philosophical differences with our elected officials, but when the appear to be willfully stupid in order to pander to the votes with a pointless feel-good "look, we're doing something!" piece of bullshit like this I get angry.
posted by Ickster at 9:50 AM on May 7, 2005


And yes, they are saying that if you do not have this approved ID, you will not be able to board an airplane, get on a city bus, or enter a federal building.

well, why the fuck would i want to get on board just before i blow the fucking thing to smithereens? do i look like some sort of low-tech middle eastern suicide bombing sand negro? shee-it. i'm an uhmurkin. i blow my shit up with laser guided remote activated wireless broadband digital death rays. uh huh. thas right. can't touch dis.
posted by quonsar at 10:59 AM on May 7, 2005


One small ID for citizens, one broad step towards tyranny. I wonder if it will implemented in time to prevent folks from flocking to DC to disrupt the next non-elected to be inaugurated?

It so easy: as they spot a movement of people, just turn off their cards. "Sorry sir, your card won't work. You'll have to see your DMV".

Folks, our freedoms were designed to make it harder for tyranny to take root. Giving up any freedoms is shitting on what the Founders put there to allow the People to maintain some ultimate control over the dangerous creation we call government.

Can you possibly suppose the people coming up with this shit have any expectation of going out of power? Hell no, because then they'd realize all these tools can be used against them, too.
posted by Goofyy at 10:59 AM on May 7, 2005


There is something I'm confused about. Currently I fly from American airports with a Canadian passport. (Since I normally fly between countries, this is no big deal for me, but I know that Canada demands photo ID - passport or driver's liscence - even to fly within the country. If you don't drive, you must purchase a passport to travel within your own country.)

But will American airlines begin to demand this card instead of my passport? Do you have to know how to drive to get this ID? I don't know how to drive, so I can't get a driver's liscence.

Off-topic, but I'm curious: where does public transit demand ID? I haven't even shown ID to buy a Greyhound ticket, unless I was crossing the border. Where I live now, the public bus just wants your dollar, no ID whatsoever.
posted by jb at 11:07 AM on May 7, 2005


Eh, when they have special little yellow cards for the Jews, then I'll conceed the point about Nazi Germany.

Until then... it's just another measure to make the soccer moms feel safer. I don't feel particularly happy about it, but I don't feel particularly violated either. My husband is going through the green card process at the moment and after seeing what we put potential immigrants through, I feel pretty secure in my civil liberties by comparison.

Once HIV testing becomes compulsory, then I'll whip out the righteous indignation that my rights are being trampled.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:12 AM on May 7, 2005


Can you imagine how valuable this cards would be on an illegal market?
I don't know about you, but the idea of carrying all of my personal information around, 24/7 makes me a little nervous.
A buddy of mine doesn't have a driver's license or the alternate non-driver ID card. Instead, he carries his passport with him in order to make age-restricted purchases. Every time he takes his passport out at a bar or a convenience store, it makes me wince.
I mean, I keep my social security card, my passport and my birth certificate AT HOME. Where They Belong.

As it stands, if someone swipes my wallet today, all they'll get is a bad picture of me and a debit card they can't use without the PIN.

Also, these cards sure as hell better not be RFID. (from this thread)
posted by Jon-o at 11:18 AM on May 7, 2005


when they have special little yellow cards for the Jews, then I'll conceed the point about Nazi Germany

It will be far, far too late at that point.

It's worth noting that pretty much all the Jews in Germany had much the same attitude: "It's only temporary, it's only an inconvenience, they'll come to their senses."

First Jewish shops were forced to put up a yellow star, then Jews could only sit on star-marked seats in the bus, then Jews weren't allowed to marry non-Jews, and the entire time the Jewish population didn't haul ass out of the country but complacently trusted that the people would do the right thing and put a stop to the nonsense.

But the nonsense didn't stop and the German people didn't fight their government, and it all ended in tears. And a lot of greasy ashes of the slaughtered.

Is this where you want America to go?

Then you sure as hell better speak up. Don't sit on your ass like the Germans: GET ANGRY and DEMAND BETTER. Contact your political representatives and give them an earful.

Reform America: Reclaim the Constitution.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:35 AM on May 7, 2005


Right now it's just special little yellow cards for us gays, so it apparently doesn't count.
posted by amberglow at 11:46 AM on May 7, 2005


Of course, if the dems had drafted this legislation pre-2001, you guys would have welcomed it with open arms.
posted by mischief at 12:39 PM on May 7, 2005


five fresh fish : I was trying to be lighthearted. I have studied the German lead up to the Holocaust fairly well and can tell you that our system in the US bears little resemblance. We may have issues with racial profiling, but as far as I know, we have yet to systematically demand that one group of people give up their rights to business, home, and well, appearing on the street. We're not even close. I know that modern Germany requires a national ID card and Iceland requires you to give the equivalent of a social security number to do such things as rent a movie. I think this "national ID" that they're talking about is hardly a move towards a fascist regime. (Was electing Bush a move in this direction? Probably. But an ID card? I'd personally like to have better standards on my DL so I can stop carrying my passport for reasons detailed in the latter half of this comment...)

jon-o: I've been carrying my passport as primary ID for years for two reasons - #1) My driver's license is theoretically invalid. I've never had it suspended, but I have epilepsy and, well, should not be behind the wheel. I don't drive, so carrying a license would only be as ID. #2) I am from a state in which the licenses look like they were made in Photoshop. I have had my license (which I did not make in Photoshop, but I'd like to think that I'd have done a better job) denied on many an occasion. It's just easier to carry my passport (as I have to dig out secondary ID anyway), which gets a few odd looks, but whatever. Perhaps it's a risk for theft, but I'm personally more worried about my credit cards on that one.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:39 PM on May 7, 2005


amberglow : Are you sure they're yellow? I thought they were supposed to be fuschia! ;)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:40 PM on May 7, 2005


Of course, if the dems had drafted this legislation pre-2001, you guys would have welcomed it with open arms.

That's the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard.
posted by bshort at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2005


We may have issues with racial profiling, but as far as I know, we have yet to systematically demand that one group of people give up their rights to business, home, and well, appearing on the street.

That's because your focus is too narrow. The group being targeted is Americans. This is a big ole step towards that reality. Uncle Sam wept.
posted by davelog at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2005


Osmanthus: You DO NOT need ID to fly in America today. Its scary that you guys think you do, and that you are just fine with that idea.

I think John Gilmore would beg to differ.

grapefruitmoon: Eh, when they have special little yellow cards for the Jews, then I'll conceed the point about Nazi Germany.

With the wide array of handheld wireless scanners available special cards aren't required. Ask anyone who is unlucky enough to have their name on the no fly list.

Once HIV testing becomes compulsory, then I'll whip out the righteous indignation that my rights are being trampled.

By which time it'll be too late. They can keep on adding fields to the database and I'd bet they won't even need new laws.
posted by Mitheral at 1:57 PM on May 7, 2005


The procedure for getting on an airplane with no ID is this: tell the ticket agent you don't have ID with you. She will mark your ticket with a special code. When you get to security, you will be taken aside and given a more thorough search than the other passengers. Thats it.

Try it! But only if you have lots of time to catch your flight since the search procedure can be slow.

Also, Mr Gilmore's predicament is a little bit different; he did not say he didn't have ID with him, he said he would not produce ID even though he had it. This challenge of authority could be reasonably construed as disruptive behavior so he was banned from entering. The part about a "secret law" was just spouting, as this was never actually proven.
posted by Osmanthus at 2:52 PM on May 7, 2005


c'mon guys, isn't this exciting?
it's like we're living in a movie!


Actually, no.
posted by Tlahtolli at 3:04 PM on May 7, 2005


Of course it's the dumbest thing you ever heard; that's the nature of bipartisanship, lefty/righty hypocrisy.
Welcome to the real world. ;-P
posted by mischief at 3:46 PM on May 7, 2005


But, but, but, 9/11 changed everything!
posted by nofundy at 4:12 PM on May 7, 2005


Mmm... 1984.

So, who's up for the HUAC?
posted by Amanda B at 5:02 PM on May 7, 2005


Of course, if the dems had drafted this legislation pre-2001, you guys would have welcomed it with open arms.

How dare you. I laughed at the Clinton administration's "don't ask, don't tell", bitched against their "Welfare reform", and marched against the NATO war on Yugoslavia; Slick Willy was not MY president either. As for Democrats, look up the Vietnam War: it was started by JFK and expanded by Johnson, Democratic "liberals".

Not everybody who's not a Republican is a Democrat. I don't see why anybody would think of those as two entirely different parties anyway; as the above examples show, any differences are more PR than substance.
posted by davy at 5:53 PM on May 7, 2005


davelog : Ummm... are we shipping Americans off to extermination camps as part of some grand Solution? Unless we are, I think reality and I are doing alright. The comparisons to Nazi Germany are really over the top for this situation. Say freedom is in short supply all you want, but we're not systematically killing a group of people.

Mitheral : I'd like to know exactly how one ends up on the no-fly list before responding to your statement. Do you have any information on this?

Also : they would need new laws to make a compulsory test for HIV for American citizens. Current laws not only disallow involuntary tests for those known to have been in contact with the disease, but doctor/patient privilege is sacrosanct and the CDC is not allowed to make a list of those with the disease or contact anyone they've been in contact with. This is a pretty big thing if you think of HIV as an epidemic - were this TB or a reoccurence of smallpox, there are rules in place which allow for a list of those infected and the testing of people who are likely to have caught it. You would certainly need to pass a new law to get HIV added to the list of diseases that are considered epidemic. It would not be as easy as "adding a box to a form." It would be a public health nightmare.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:54 PM on May 7, 2005


For everyone who thinks this isn't a big deal compared to how you currently use your ID:

Would you have a problem if everytime you showed your driver's license at a bar/store/etc, the cashier/bouncer took a photocopy, marked the time and place, and faxed it to DHS?
posted by Jairus at 6:20 PM on May 7, 2005


Jairus : Don't a lot of bars swipe IDs nowadays? I've certainly had this done on many occasions. Also : I'd like to think that DHS would have better things to do than check up on the comings and goings of every single citizen. If they were really to implement such a strategy, perhaps it would help to boost unemployment by hiring more sorters.

I've had plenty of run-ins in the past few years wherein it has become apparent to me that based on my social security number alone, the US government knows everything major about my life. They're already monitoring us, this bill doesn't change that. It changes the way in which the monitoring happens and makes it more effective, but if you think that the government couldn't already give you a list about yourself a mile long, you're in for a shock.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:13 PM on May 7, 2005


Osmanthus: The part about a "secret law" was just spouting, as this was never actually proven.

This is going to sound all conspiracy theory but of course not it is secret. Do you deny that the government has prevented john's defence from answering many questions on the grounds of national security?

grapefruitmoon the test wouldn't be required you just wouldn't be able to update your federal ID/driver's license without it. Similar to the way the police can't just require fingerprints from everyone but you'll need a biometric identifier for this card. I may lose my bet, I'm not totally up on the byzantine bureaucracy that is US health law, but do you think it would be tough to pass anything as trivial as requiring medical testing for a federal ID if they attached it to a military spending bill?

I'd like to know exactly how one ends up on the no-fly list before responding to your statement. Do you have any information on this?
Nope it's secret remember. A google search for "no fly list false positive" will garner thousands of hits with some of the effects. Here are some links to get you started including details of Sen. John Kennedy being stopped from flying that required a team of staffers to unSNAFU and papers from those alarmists the ACLU.
posted by Mitheral at 8:29 PM on May 7, 2005


Mitheral : It's nearly impossible to do anything in the US that violates doctor/patient privilege, and requiring a bloodtest for any form of ID would cause quite the uproar. I think we're still a long long way away from that. Also : military spending could hardly justify the cost to the taxpayer of processing hundreds of millions of bloodtests. The CDC as it is now would need to be greatly expanded if it were to be able to handle such a load.

I'm pretty up on US health law and I can't see how you could just attach medical testing to an ID without destroying doctor/patient privilege which is absolutely essential not only in the health care system, but in the legal system as well.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:44 AM on May 8, 2005


Some states still require a blood test to get a marriage license, and I don't see too many people being in an uproar about that. And what makes you think the CDC would be involved or that the individual wouldn't be responsible for paying for any testing themselves?

I'm not at all thrilled by a national ID that could lead to a database of even more information about people being stockpiled, if only because I can see how it could be misused and abused. The way things are going in the US these days, I don't trust that it won't be used in ways not originally "intended".
posted by Orb at 6:51 AM on May 8, 2005


Also the US government has already started to centralize patient records into one database called the National Health Information Network (NHIN).

"The proposed National Health Information Network embodies a presidential mandate to bring information technology to health care by making complete patient records available to providers, regardless of location."

Any bets on what the primary key of this database will be once the US has a defacto national ID?
posted by Mitheral at 7:59 AM on May 8, 2005


Any legislator who favors this should have absolutely no problem with his or her home address, phone number and license plate being posted on the Web, right?
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:04 AM on May 8, 2005


Of course, if the dems had drafted this legislation pre-2001, you guys would have welcomed it with open arms.

Well duh, back then I wasn't a pot-smoking criminal!
posted by delmoi at 12:56 PM on May 8, 2005


davy,
"As for Democrats, look up the Vietnam War: it was started by JFK and expanded by Johnson, Democratic "liberals". "

Uhm, just for the record, our military involvement in the affairs of Vietnam began during the Eisenhower administration. The formal escalation, yes, was under Kennedy and the rampant expansion was Johnson...but it started MUCH earlier (try, while the French were blowing it big time and Truman decided we should support the French...). For further info, try these:

http://shrinkster.com/55i
http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/rcah/html/ah_089400_vietnamwar.htm

http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/vietnam/causes.htm
http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=23346
(Which menitons the Eisenhower "Domino" speech...)
posted by aldus_manutius at 10:31 AM on May 9, 2005


I'm not sure that really lets them off the hook, aldus.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:34 AM on May 9, 2005


Be afraid of what we are NOT being told.

Which way are the camps?
posted by BIGSAGE136 at 2:59 PM on May 9, 2005


I've been in the military. I've been arrested in the past. I'm already marked. Sorry for all of you who wish to remain unmarked but I think this is inevitable.
posted by stateofmind_77 at 3:37 PM on May 9, 2005


The Senate just unanimously approved the spending bill today.
posted by angry modem at 5:00 PM on May 10, 2005


My comments on this in the other thread.
posted by sninky-chan at 6:37 AM on May 11, 2005


« Older Islamic finance...  |  Total chaos, no way to see the... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments