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Oh hell no!
May 9, 2005 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Take action and FAX your Senators (for free!) in opposition to the RealID bill up for voting tommorow on May 10th. Do it now, don't wait. Bury your Senators in protest of this terrible legislation. (via BoingBoing, Slashdot, IM, and more. Spread the word.)
posted by loquacious (103 comments total)

 
I just faxed in support of the legislation.

I think it is a good idea because I don't trust some states to do the sufficient amount of due diligence before issuing a license.
posted by dios at 2:25 PM on May 9, 2005


There is no way in hell it will not be passed. It's mixed in with a defense spending bill that needs to be passed to continue funding Iraq.

Given that, it's possible this part of the law will be repealed before it goes into effect, and that seems like something reasonable to aim at.
posted by smackfu at 2:29 PM on May 9, 2005


I don't have a Senator, so I can't send a fax. But I can provide a link to the conference report being voted on tomorrow.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:31 PM on May 9, 2005


Here's another action link.

Or, if you fall on dios' side of the line, I suppose you'll be wanting this one.

Me, I'm gonna be real uncomfortable when the first states start issuing second-class-citizen driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. REAL uncomfortable.
posted by gurple at 2:32 PM on May 9, 2005


Wow, I just realized that that second link I just posted is to something called "Team America". "Dedicated to Securing our Borders and Defending American Jobs".

America: Fuck Yeah!
posted by gurple at 2:34 PM on May 9, 2005


I think we should take as much responsibility away from those pesky states as possible. A huge, bloated centralized federal government has long been a hallmark of the U.S.A. and I am proud to see that tradition continue under the Bush administration. I was afraid it was going to be shrunk so small it could be drowned in a bathtub when Gore lost!
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:35 PM on May 9, 2005


(yeah, dios, sure, whatever)

This bill is also notable for the presumably-unconstitutional "we get to waive any laws we like, and you can't seek redress of grievances, you gotta just bend over, nyeah, nyeah" wording in the Building A Big Fence portion (sec. 102).
SEC. 102. WAIVER OF LAWS NECESSARY FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BARRIERS AT BORDERS.
posted by hattifattener at 2:37 PM on May 9, 2005


I'm with dios. Enough of this state's rights crap. Let's get back to fundimental old-fashioned values (like slavery). Obviously, we need these. Immigrants and newborns should be tattooed & coded with information while all REAL Americans will get RFID tags implanted in their testicles (the wives and daughters of real Americans can get them implanted in their ovaries). What could possibly go wrong? How could this system possibly be abused? Why are all the intellectuals finding fault with this? Why are you all being so defensive?
Etc. etc.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:38 PM on May 9, 2005


Joey, how about this compromise? Everything that is related to national security should be federalized. Everything that isn't should be state-ized.
posted by dios at 2:39 PM on May 9, 2005


Y'know what is interesting tho'....many republicans who typically would be howling against this aren't. It's as though they aren't worried about a democrat being elected...huh.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:40 PM on May 9, 2005


Why are all the intellectuals finding fault with this?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:38 PM PST on May 9


The quacks at the Nation/Kos/etc. =/= All the Intellectuals
posted by dios at 2:42 PM on May 9, 2005


I just don't see this as a national security issue. It has been sold as one, but it is another one of those "creates an illusion of security without actually providing any tangible security benefits" things - like being made to take off our shoes when we go through airport security. The nation will not be safer after this - but they will be able to put together some excellent marketing profiles of all of us.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:47 PM on May 9, 2005


If dios was real, I'd bottle him and sell the satire.
posted by NinjaPirate at 2:50 PM on May 9, 2005


Yeah, this isn't a national security issue. It's national illusion of security issue.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:52 PM on May 9, 2005


hattifattener, that language isn't in the final bill. There's still a waiver, though not as broad as in the original legislation.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:55 PM on May 9, 2005


In the military I worked in an environment where I had to swipe through three security doors to get to work, not to mention twice just to get to the building. I guess that has desensitized me to this sort of thing, but imo, this is a good thing. That is on the premise that they do it correctly and it makes identity theft harder and not easier.
posted by reflection at 2:55 PM on May 9, 2005


i have an arabic curse tatooed on my penis.
posted by quonsar at 2:59 PM on May 9, 2005


Is this RealID going to take over all my file associations?
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:03 PM on May 9, 2005


I for one welcome our constitution buttf@$%ing overlords.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:04 PM on May 9, 2005


Is this RealID going to take over all my file associations?

I heard it wasn't an actual ID at all, just a remarkably lifelike, pleasurable rubber simulacrum of an ID card.
posted by gurple at 3:07 PM on May 9, 2005


Enough of this state's rights crap. Let's get back to fundimental old-fashioned values (like slavery).

Slavery was a state's rights issue. If you're going to get all hyperbolie on us you should at least try to be accurate about it.
posted by Cyrano at 3:08 PM on May 9, 2005


Mayor, use AlternativeID. Out now on Edskes File Mirror.
posted by mr.marx at 3:09 PM on May 9, 2005


(Much like I should have been accurate with my spelling. Oh well.)
posted by Cyrano at 3:13 PM on May 9, 2005


Sweet. The harder it is for illegal aliens to get drivers licenses, the more minor traffic violations will turn into deadly high speed chases. And if Republicans get their way and mandate that police officers verify the citizenship of people who make police reports, crime in areas with illegal aliens will skyrocket (far, far fewer illegals will call the police for help fear of being deported - a huge gift to organized crime and those who exploit illegals).

What's the term, "ghettoization"?

With more citizens being killed on the highways and streets by illegal aliens and those who pray on them, it will be even easier to villify the poor, hard working aliens "terrorist f*cks" who infiltrate our borders so they can blow the leaves off our sidewalks for a really good price.
posted by Davenhill at 3:13 PM on May 9, 2005


*kneels on jose, prays*
posted by quonsar at 3:15 PM on May 9, 2005


As long as I can get a nice picture of kitty as the background on my card, I don't really care.
posted by fenriq at 3:30 PM on May 9, 2005


Normally I wouldn't say anything, but, quonsar, you just made my day.
posted by Stauf at 3:32 PM on May 9, 2005


Lettuce prey.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:33 PM on May 9, 2005


Is supporting a National ID Card which by state requirement must be carried upon one's self at all times support for totalitarianism?
posted by futureproof at 3:34 PM on May 9, 2005



Joey, how about this compromise? Everything that is related to national security should be federalized. Everything that isn't should be state-ized.


This ID isn't needed for any security; it just makes the mob easier to manage. What could make more sense then inconveniencing millions of people to make life slightly more complicated for a few dozon Al-quada in the US, most of whom already got shipped to Guantanimo.

The fact is, anything can be related to 'national security' just like anything can be related to 'interstate commerce'
posted by delmoi at 3:36 PM on May 9, 2005


done and done.
posted by amberglow at 3:37 PM on May 9, 2005


I'd only support trust the intentions of this bill if it was renamed The Real Ultimate ID.
posted by sequential at 3:38 PM on May 9, 2005


Remember, the Sept 11 terrorists had a legal status known to the Federal government. Specifically, Atta recieved his student visa after committing the worst ever act of terrorism on US soil!

This real-id crap will insure that we are able to identify the terrorists after they commit their crimes.
posted by kuatto at 3:38 PM on May 9, 2005


i have an arabic curse tatooed on my penis.

I have the Koran tatooed on mine. There's not much room left.
posted by yhbc at 3:39 PM on May 9, 2005


> Missing the word "or" between "support" and "trust". Woops.
posted by sequential at 3:40 PM on May 9, 2005


Is supporting a National ID Card which by state requirement must be carried upon one's self at all times support for totalitarianism?

You don't have to carry it on you all the time, just when you're doing anything related to travel.

Also, what's the deal with the four forms of ID... What are you supposed to do if you lose your wallet and all you have left is your social security card, and you birth certificate?
posted by delmoi at 3:43 PM on May 9, 2005


dios wrote: Joey, how about this compromise? Everything that is related to national security should be federalized. Everything that isn't should be state-ized.

So with one hand we take away personal liberties under the guise of national security, while with the other we take away regulations on big business under the guise of states' rights. Everybody wins!
posted by gigawhat? at 3:55 PM on May 9, 2005


I don't really understand why most Americans are so upset about this ID. Ok, they shouldn't try to disguise it a defense bill, I agree with that part, but what's so disconcerting about a simple ID?

Most counterarguments are just plain ridiculous. Just read the page! Dead Cops? Get real. Stolen identities? I live in Europe, and most countries have assigned ID cards for several decades now. I've never even heard of a someone's identity being stolen around here, decent IDs make it a lot harder you know. If Real ID passes the Senate, our nation will join the ranks of the old Soviet Union, Communist China, and Vietnam by issuing its citizens a national ID card. And the rest of the developed world.

To give a few possible positive consequences: public services can organized more fairly and efficiently, identity theft will become harder instead of simpler.

Can someone please explain to what all the commotion is about without all the fearmongering and irrationality?
posted by koenie at 4:08 PM on May 9, 2005


Not until you show us your papers, pal.
posted by gigawhat? at 4:17 PM on May 9, 2005


Koenie,
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny"
Thomas Jefferson

Some of us like the idea of traveling without having to get anyone's permission or even giving them a heads up.
posted by CCK at 4:18 PM on May 9, 2005


Yawn. I have bigger things to worry about. ;-P
posted by mischief at 4:23 PM on May 9, 2005


koenie: I attribute it to American mistrust of government. Perhaps you'd think different if you suspected the government's motives and the potential for abuse both within and without the system. Not just on the national security topic, but just about any sort of activity driven by the executive branch.

At this point I believe the disadvantages outweigh any benefit this system will bring. I will continue to rely on government inefficiency blunting the effectiveness of such programs, but I don't see that lasting forever.
posted by infowar at 4:27 PM on May 9, 2005


While you've got your congresspeople's ears, don't forget about Darfur.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:31 PM on May 9, 2005


I don't see how this isn't inevitable.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 4:50 PM on May 9, 2005


I attribute it to American mistrust of government.
Interesting point, but isn't democracy a way of solving that problem?

At this point I believe the disadvantages outweigh any benefit this system will bring.
Which disadvantages do you have in mind?
posted by koenie at 5:00 PM on May 9, 2005


At some point, there will be another Democrat as president. Don't the Republicans see the opportunity for Democrat abuse of the new ID card?
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:21 PM on May 9, 2005


Interesting point, but isn't democracy a way of solving that problem?

In theory. That would presuppose, of course, that there are any vestiges of democracy left in the USA after the past five years.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:47 PM on May 9, 2005


A moderate increase in the security of identification is hard to argue against. States have their own standards for issuing ID, and the other states accept them as valid. So standardizing requirements for ID seems like a natural idea.
Fake identification should be difficult to obtain, right?

But the addition of statements concerning immigrants, land use, and an information database are all much more subtle issues.

A disection of the FPP linked site objections here. I agree, the UnrealID site is pretty much bollocks, I just skipped over to the ACLU and found a more rational dissent.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 6:25 PM on May 9, 2005


As an information security consultant, I wince...then wince again.

While I'm faxing and flinching, may I direct your attention to to the enumerated reasons "why RealID isn't practical"...this is from someone I believe may be America's foremost cryptologist and security philosopher, Bruce Schneier....

*twitch*
posted by Dunvegan at 6:32 PM on May 9, 2005


[this is s] National Illusion of Security issue.

Quite possibly the best comment ever. Sums it all up in five words.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:48 PM on May 9, 2005


I just faxed in support of the legislation.
posted by dios at 2:25 PM PST on May 9 [!]


Good for you. Did you then fax your state reps asking for a tax hike to pay for the more government? Or did you include that on your fax of support to the feds?

You should have included that tax hike request on the fax as this is attached to the defense spending bill. Those interest payments DO go to the foreigners ya know.

Amazing how many people want more government and are unwilling to pay for it eh? I'm sure you aren't one of them, right Dios?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:51 PM on May 9, 2005


For the sake of convenience, marketing and other reasons, all manner of shopkeepers, web sites and others will demand presentation of the National ID as a condition of doing business. This is, of course, especially troublesome if the physical card is later required to include RFID (radio frequency identification tracking) or similar technology, detectable hundreds or more of feet away. Under the language of the bill, such new technical requirements can be mandated unilaterally by Homeland Security. That is potentially very problematic. Not only for privacy, civil liberties and a free society, but also for the safety and security and the country.,

Eventually, because there are no limits on use of the National ID, every American’s religious, political, social-economic, health, travel history, current location, racial and other private information will be cross-tabulated to this individual identity number. Given the relative ease with which even relatively high security systems can be hacked, or cracked from outside and subverted by inside wrongdoers, it is probable that such a mother load of personal date will be laid bare again and again. Large-scale attacks for monetary gain or to destabilize the economy will at least be detectable. Surgical attacks against individuals or smaller sets of data across many people’s records will be harder to discover and undo.

Those seeking criminal access will range from people and enterprises seeking advantage for corporate marketing and industrial espionage, to political and social adversaries, to simple fraudsters, to dangerous and abusive estranged or former spouses and of course, the same terrorists we seek protection against. Imagine a criminal gaining access to the cross-tabulated information needed to search Americans with high value homes above a certain income, where the ID card holders always use the tollway and eat at restaurant from 7-9pm, leaving their homes unattended? Digitally "casing" homes, cars and even high value individual targets for robbery or other crimes will be relatively easy, with an unlimited usage National ID.

Determining parental status, based on types of purchases, location data and many other data sources traceable to a National ID would be a trivial matter. Even more alarming, picture a motivated and computer savvy (or simply wealthy) pedophile seeking better information on the various patterns of all parents and other adult supervisors of children, as the predator seeks any apparent any opening. What if such a pedophile or other criminal could do such a search covering an entire zip code?

posted by alms at 6:59 PM on May 9, 2005


Well at the freerepublic page they have different take...hmm, maybe not. Who's idea was this?
posted by airguitar at 7:03 PM on May 9, 2005


Hey quansar: if you kneel on your pantyjose you'll get runs in them
posted by warbaby at 7:08 PM on May 9, 2005


The start up cost for Real ID, per state: Averages to about $500 to $750 million dollars each.

Administration costs per state: $50 to $75 million annually.

The Federal government making the states assume the federal responsibility to control immigration and turning the state Department of Motor Vehicles offices into immigration enforcement centers?

...Priceless.

And...don't you can't leave home without it.
posted by Dunvegan at 7:10 PM on May 9, 2005


Here's Bruce Schneir's latest take on this fiasco

And here's a question for the RFID technoids: will sandwiching an RFID between two magnets (like the rubberized sheets) saturate the induction and kill the resonators?
posted by warbaby at 7:23 PM on May 9, 2005


Y'all might want to take note of the Canadian gun registry program, which is sort of a smaller scale version of what your feds want: national database of guns and owners.

It has been a boondoggle. Complete boondoggle. Cost has run over $2 billion. There is still no complete database. Not every gun is registered, not by a long shot. And it hasn't helped solve one crime.

The US ID registry will be much the same. Horrendously expensive. Not everyone will register. And it won't stop domestic terrorism.

It's a crying shame that governments so seldom learn from others' mistakes.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:24 PM on May 9, 2005


And, for the record, I think it is appalling that this was voted down only to be attached to a "must pass" sort of spending bill. Makes me want to vomit.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:45 PM on May 9, 2005


Good point about Canadian gun registry. This also reminds me a little of our completely useless Drive Clean initiative, Star Wars (the Reagan version), No Child Left Behind, and other entirely wasteful, ineffective programs.

What happens when you don't want a license because you're not interested in driving? Is there going to be a public transit license?
posted by juiceCake at 8:05 PM on May 9, 2005


Makes me want to vomit.

Welcome to Lawmaking: American style! As it always ways, as it always will be. Better keep a bucket handy.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:08 PM on May 9, 2005


Thanks loquacious. Seriously, thanks.
posted by horseblind at 8:20 PM on May 9, 2005


(1) IN GENERAL- Beginning 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, a Federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting the requirements of this section.

...

(b) Minimum Document Requirements- To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall include, at a minimum, the following information and features on each driver's license and identification card issued to a person by the State:

...

(6) The person's address of principle residence.
So homeless people can't vote, can't sue, can't apply for federally-funded aid? Sounds like a real fuckin' winner.

(Of course, this is already the case in practice. I was prevented from registering to vote, since I lived on a boat at the time and had no address, until I finally gave in and did what the Board of Elections drone told me to, which was to perjure myself by declaring that I resided at a nearby address.)
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:34 PM on May 9, 2005


I'm wondering where dios and the rest would have stood on this bill if it had been put forward under the Clinton administration and Hilary had gone around the country stumping for it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:53 PM on May 9, 2005


Eventually, because there are no limits on use of the National ID, every American’s religious, political, social-economic, health, travel history, current location, racial and other private information will be cross-tabulated to this individual identity number.

Um, hate to break this to you, but this is already done with one's Social Security Number.

Frankly, I don't understand the arguments against a national ID when it's already in existance. You know just how fucking stupid it is that banks accept Social Security Cards as ID?! It's a friggin' piece of paper. No security hologram. No embedded foil strip. No watermark. No magstripe. Our friggin' VISA cards have more security.

As for the problems of identity theft... well, perhaps the ID should be a biometric implant, like they do with dogs and cats.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:16 PM on May 9, 2005


I don't see how this isn't inevitable.

[rubs face with hands]

"This is inevitable" -- gotcha
"This isn't inevitable" --- oookay, I'm following you
"I don't see how this isn't inevitable" --- I'm dizzy, let me start over ...

[rubs face with hands]
posted by intermod at 9:28 PM on May 9, 2005


I'm surprised no one has mentioned the connection to the Mark of the Beast
posted by pandaharma at 9:34 PM on May 9, 2005


Those in IT, rejoice - lots of government work very soon.
This is such a bad idea.
posted by blendor at 10:40 PM on May 9, 2005


Ugh. I want the Mexican border secure, but this bill is more PATRIOT crap, reflavored to please the Minuteman supporters and infoharvesting bidnesses.
If you want to stop a clueless RealID supporter dead in their tracks, explain the RFID chip and the incredible financial tag _they_ have to pay to have _their_ freedom taken away.
posted by Joybooth at 11:53 PM on May 9, 2005


I've got this disgusting, sinking feeling that this legislation is going to pass. And pass quietly, too.
Can we all set up a time and place to burn our cards in protest?
posted by Jon-o at 12:11 AM on May 10, 2005


Oh, by the way...
Am I the only person who's seriously considering stocking up on canned goods, toilet paper, and ammo?
posted by Jon-o at 12:16 AM on May 10, 2005


No.

Luckily there's a gun club a few hundred feet away from my house so I can practice.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:19 AM on May 10, 2005


Civil,
My local gun shop is only four blocks from me. I feel like a crackpot for saying this, but every time I read the news, I get really tempted to take a four block walk...
posted by Jon-o at 12:26 AM on May 10, 2005


I'm wondering where dios and the rest would have stood on this bill if it had been put forward under the Clinton administration and Hilary had gone around the country stumping for it.

Wonder not. This a tried and true cult of personality. It remains to be seen if they really, indubitably have acheived critical mass. If they haven't they'll be overthrown -- just by nature alone.

Everything remains to be seen. When you're down, just think, we're all living out a hyper-meta real life reality summer blockbuster feature. This is the only bright side I can come up with.
posted by crasspastor at 1:12 AM on May 10, 2005


Just to be official, a long-dead MeTa on this thread.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 1:17 AM on May 10, 2005


I feel like a crackpot for saying this

You'll feel like a bigger idiot for not being prepared when the shit hits. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:38 AM on May 10, 2005


As I said in the other thread, 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 ID at a club/store/walmart/blockbuster/etc, the cashier/bouncer took a photocopy, marked the time and place, and faxed it to DHS?
posted by Jairus at 3:39 AM on May 10, 2005


My local gun shop is only four blocks from me. I feel like a crackpot for saying this, but every time I read the news, I get really tempted to take a four block walk...

I don't think that is at all a crackpot idea. Not at all.

Some blog or other that I'm sure many of us read had a quip today about how something like a quarter of soldiers surveyed said they'd follow orders to shoot US civilians.

You're not a crackpot at all.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:46 AM on May 10, 2005


Can someone without tin foil on their head please explain what I need to be outraged about here? I already had to show my birth certificate the first time I got my license, what is different now except that the federal government is telling all states to require that?

Incidentally a valid visa is a federally accepted ID for aliens, so is the passport it is glued to (that makes 2 ID's right there neither of which is a birth certificate). Look out 1984 is here!

Would you have a problem if every time you showed your ID at a club/store/walmart/blockbuster/etc, the cashier/bouncer took a photocopy, marked the time and place, and faxed it to DHS?

What would that do? What possible reason would DHS have for wanting any information like that? Let's think before we freak out here folks. Let's say DHS wanted to monitor people, do you have any idea how much effort and money that would take? If say they hired 1 employee to monitor 100 Americans' transactions for one shift a day, that would be nearly 3 million employees right there, stretch it out to 3 shifts and you've got 9 million people, just monitoring transactions for some reason and that doesn't include anyone to supervise, actually do anything with the masses of data or clean the toilets after the entire population of New York city has used them!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:29 AM on May 10, 2005


I can one up all you "oh I'm going to the gun club tommorrow" wackos. I WORK AT ONE!!!!
posted by CCK at 8:55 AM on May 10, 2005


So homeless people can't vote, can't sue, can't apply for federally-funded aid? Sounds like a real fuckin' winner.

Elections are run by the state government.
posted by delmoi at 9:08 AM on May 10, 2005


Let's say DHS wanted to monitor people, do you have any idea how much effort and money that would take? If say they hired 1 employee to monitor 100 Americans' transactions for one shift a day, that would be nearly 3 million employees right there, stretch it out to 3 shifts and you've got 9 million people,

They have these things called computers now. Might want to look into it.
posted by delmoi at 9:13 AM on May 10, 2005


They have these things called computers now. Might want to look into it.

Seriously. Visa has their monitoring of credit card users down to such a fine science that they'll give you a call if you buy something that's far off of your normal purchasing habits, because it might be stolen. It's not very hard, really.

I think Pollomacho has some fundamental misunderstandings about how software works.
posted by Jairus at 9:26 AM on May 10, 2005


TIA is not dead - only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Pollomacho: oh, you mean, if I'm not doing anything wrong I have nothing to hide? I guess only us oldthinkers unbellyfeel this stuff...
posted by dinsdale at 9:27 AM on May 10, 2005


For all the political marketing of "Freedom"* there is something defenitely real and ingrained in the American psyche about the ability to be, or potentially be anonymous. The idea that you can travel and eat and buy stuff without being monitored is a very good thing. Though no one does it, the idea that you could be jack Kerouac/ Hunter Thompson/Edward Abbey and ramble about the west buying fertilizer, whisky, 12 inch double-dongs and guns without the involuntary submission/acquiensence to those with access to the database is one of the best parts being a USian.





*Special rules apply, offer not valid in lower 48. See under cap for details.
posted by hatchetjack at 9:53 AM on May 10, 2005


"Slavery was a state's rights issue. If you're going to get all hyperbolie on us..."
-- Putcher hands up Cyrano, the jokes are going over your head!

No hyperbole a'tall. I seem to have correctly predicted (I'd comically misuse 'predicated' here, but ...) folks not reading previous posts and misunderemembering the ancillary arguments against RealID.
Plenty o'links to very interesting stuff which I need not reiterate.
I think though the future with RealID in play will be less like 1984 and more like T. Gilliam's BRAZIL. Chaos backed by bureaucracy and selective enforcement. Of course it won't work. It doesn't have to work, it just has to look legitimate & cover asses. The folks in power want this so they can maintain power. Simple.

While I am keeping my firearms cleaned and oiled, going to the weapons isn't a plan, it's what you do when the plan turns to shit. Communication and contact is always a good way to avoid conflict.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:45 AM on May 10, 2005


Why? Why does DHS want your information? What possible purpose would it serve if it were actually possible or desired to implement? Jesus, listen to yourselves, we do not live in an X-files episode. There are no black helicopters coming for you. I promise. Take your medicine, listen to some mellow music and breathe.

No, I'm not talking about a "if I'm doing nothing...blah blah straw man blah" argument here, I'm talking about the reality rather than the paranoid fiction of the Real ID law. There are no chips that can be monitored from hundreds of feet about to be implanted in your driver's licenses.

What it does in stead is provides a standardized, federalized list of acceptable documentation that can be used to get a government issued ID (such as a driver's license). In no way does that say that the government can an d will start monitoring you. It does not create a national ID card.

Here is a little extra help for those that might not be following along here, you already have to provide this kind of documentation when you get a job, remember the I-9 you filled out? It sure did hurt when the men in black tattooed your barcode on after that ordeal! Same deal except now DC and Idaho have to require at least the same documents when you want to get a driver's license.

They have these things called computers now. Might want to look into it.

Funny, I didn't realize that AI technology had gotten to the point that our robot overlords were scouring our nation looking for thought violators without any human control. Does Sarah Connor know about this?

This system, it's just going to collect and monitor itself then? I mean, if you get beyond the question of why anyone would want such a system, then you get into, who is operating it and what are they doing with the information? Now that our overlords know that you read Juggs as opposed Newsweek, what are they going to do about it? Now that they know that you drove on 3rd street to get home last Thursday in stead of 4th, are they going to send in an interrogation team to find out why?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:17 AM on May 10, 2005


five fresh fish: It has been a boondoggle. Complete boondoggle. Cost has run over $2 billion. There is still no complete database. Not every gun is registered, not by a long shot.

To put that number in perspective the original as sold to the public budget was for 1 million. Yep, they missed it by a good three orders of magnitude.

Pollomacho: If say they hired 1 employee to monitor 100 Americans' transactions for one shift a day, that would be nearly 3 million employees right there, stretch it out to 3 shifts and you've got 9 million people, just monitoring transactions for some reason

WTF Pollomacho this wouldn't be handled like a 50's telephone operator network, we have computers to help us. VISA/Amex/MC have no problem handling their transactions and I can imagine telephone companies handle a good order of magnitude more transactions a day than the credit card companies.
posted by Mitheral at 11:18 AM on May 10, 2005


Look folks, arguing with me about how this fictional system would be implemented even if it realistically could be, does not prove its existence.

Real ID has no provision for monitoring information. It creates a standard set of documents that can be used to get a state issued ID. If the person trying to get the ID is an alien then a photo copy of the alien's documents would be sent to the already years old Systemic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) office which would verify any federally issued documents. That's it folks. That's all. Breathe.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:43 AM on May 10, 2005


This bill is also notable for the presumably-unconstitutional "we get to waive any laws we like, and you can't seek redress of grievances, you gotta just bend over, nyeah, nyeah" wording in the Building A Big Fence portion (sec. 102).

Actually, if you read what it was referring to in the IIRIRA of 1996, you would see that this actually only extends the power to waive any laws that would be a barrier (pun intended) to building new roads and such along the 14 mile fence they already built. In other words, those pesky EPA regs and such that were already waived when they built the fence are still waived when they go to do maintenance.

Yeah, sucky, but not as whack-o as its made out to be by the brief out of context snippet above.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:13 PM on May 10, 2005


"What it does in stead is provides a standardized, federalized list of acceptable documentation that can be used to get a government issued ID (such as a driver's license). "

I'm unclear on why we need it. I'm also unclear on why the bill seeks to limit political asylum. I'm also unclear on why it's ok for the Fed to ignore state ID unless they meet security requirements the Fed dictates or lose grant funds. If it's not a federal drivers license (as it says at the end) why do states have to share driver's license data or face penalties?

The only part of this I agree with is requiring the entering of aviation security data re: folks convicted of using false drivers licenses at airports.
Other than that it's just taking away one more thing from local control.
Or perhaps I'm just way too tinfoil hat there. It's not like the Fed has ever done anything like that before.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:23 PM on May 10, 2005


Funny, I didn't realize that AI technology had gotten to the point that our robot overlords were scouring our nation looking for thought violators without any human control. Does Sarah Connor know about this?

And yes, she does - that's why THEY keep her locked up. Don't pretend that many government officials wouldn't be all over monitoring as much as they can in a heartbeat - for legitimate reasons or otherwise. This act isn't doing that, but it is getting the groundwork laid. Once people get used to ID cards, then they can push through the rest. Or not. I'm not saying the world is ending, but it does make me more than a little wary.
posted by nTeleKy at 2:26 PM on May 10, 2005


I'm a little curious as to why the supporters of this ID program feel it is a necessary thing. As far as I can recall, there has been precisely one truly successful foreign terrorist attack on US soil these past several decades, and it wasn't even a particularly deadly attack. Three thousand civvies killed is pretty pissant compared to the toll in traffic accidents, although the buildings were pretty expensive.

It seems to me to be a helluva infringement on traditional American values -- ie. that one can wander about pretty much anonymously and freely -- for very, very little gain.

So, supporters, what exactly is the benefit that outweighs the cost?
posted by five fresh fish at 3:56 PM on May 10, 2005


In related news, hackers busts into government sytems.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:01 PM on May 10, 2005


it passed?
posted by amberglow at 4:56 PM on May 10, 2005


So without having to read the entire thread above, how soon will this go into effect?
posted by item at 5:10 PM on May 10, 2005


sorry - you have to read the entire thread.

in related news, Pollomacho obviously doesn't understand that, as paranoid as the skeptics in this thread appear to be (including yours truly), "our overlords" are several orders of magnitude more paranoid, which is why they want to scrape every last bit of information about every last one of us, even if they have no way to effectively understand what any of it means. It's not like this Real ID thing is the first indication of this, it's just one more link in the chain...
posted by dinsdale at 6:12 PM on May 10, 2005


Pollomacho is what one might call an witless troll: a user who is dumb beyond common reckoning, yet who possesses no restraint in repeatedly posting, even when openly confronted and/or had simple things clearly explained to him/her. Unlike smarter trolls, who know better but who pursue a line of posting meant to inflame, witless trolls often earnestly believe profoundly stupid things and refuse to surrender them. Like any other kind of troll, the best tactic is to ignore.
posted by squirrel at 8:06 PM on May 10, 2005


"CONGRESS IS poised to turn driver's licenses into super ID cards, a mistake that could haunt the country for years"
"The House and Senate may pass the bill this week. That would be a security failure." - Boston Globe

"Last-minute attempts by online activists to halt an electronic ID card failed Tuesday when the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to impose a sweeping set of identification requirements on Americans." - ZDNet
posted by futureproof at 10:07 PM on May 10, 2005


A few observations:

1) The Real ID bill contents seem to have been struck from the war funding bill, H.R.1268, and put in its own, H.R. 418. I hate this ID thing, but it doesn't look to me like it got waved through with the war funding bill.

2) Even if Pollomacho's statements about the preexisting structure are true, the simple fact that the federal government is compelling the states to shell out for its own new ID standards is one more step toward a too-centralized government. A similarly worrying development to my mind would be a Federal constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage.

3) Being forced to give more personal information to the government, and having this ID card be the qualifier for the right of free travel and/or public benefits, is a step in the wrong direction in my humble opinion.
posted by sninky-chan at 6:35 AM on May 11, 2005


Pollomacho: Look folks, arguing with me about how this fictional system would be implemented even if it realistically could be, does not prove its existence.

I don't think anyone postulated that because it can be done it is being done today. They/we were merely debunking the foolish comment you made that "1 in 100" americans would be required to be employed just to collect the data. Anyone who has ever placed a station to station long distance call or used a mobile phone can see this level of data collection is possible.
posted by Mitheral at 7:38 AM on May 11, 2005


Does anyone care that this bill passed 100-0?
posted by futureproof at 4:49 PM on May 11, 2005


futureproof: Kinda reminds me of when not one of the 100 senators would endorse the objections to the Florida vote in the 2000 election.
posted by sninky-chan at 4:17 AM on May 12, 2005


Pollomacho is what one might call an witless troll: a user who is dumb beyond common reckoning, yet who possesses no restraint in repeatedly posting, even when openly confronted and/or had simple things clearly explained to him/her. Unlike smarter trolls, who know better but who pursue a line of posting meant to inflame, witless trolls often earnestly believe profoundly stupid things and refuse to surrender them. Like any other kind of troll, the best tactic is to ignore.
posted by squirrel at 4:06 AM GMT on May 11 [!]



Actually the best tactic is to flag the post, like I flagged your post. Just because someone has a dissenting opinion doesn't make that person a troll.

Grow up.

By the way, I also disagree with Pollomacho.
posted by sic at 8:35 AM on May 12, 2005


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