Anti ID Card campaigners in US win small victory

In a move in the
U.S. Senate, we can take a glimpse at what is in store for the NO2ID campaign
here in the
UK. The similarities of policy, the wanton desire of the administration to
have everyone tagged and logged, without a care for individual liberties or
safety of identity management.


The U.S. Senate took
a preliminary step on Wednesday toward reining in the controversial Real ID
Act, which is scheduled to become
America's first federal identification card in a few
years.

During Wednesday's floor debate over a massive immigration bill, Real ID
foes managed to preserve an amendment to prohibit the forthcoming
identification card
from being used for mandatory employment verification,
signaling that the political winds have shifted from when the law was overwhelmingly
enacted
two years ago.

The anti-Real ID amendment is backed by two Montana Democrats, Max Baucus
and Jon Tester, who say the digital ID cards represent an unreasonable
government intrusion into Americans' private lives. In April, Montana
became one of the states that has voted to reject
Real ID
.

“This was a real victory for Montana
and the American people,” Tester said, after the Senate vote to kill their
amendment failed to muster a majority. The unsuccessful vote to table it was
45-52.

The Real ID Act says that, starting on May 11, 2008, Americans will 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. States must
conduct checks of their citizens' identification papers, and driver's licenses
may have to be reissued to comply with Homeland Security requirements. (States
that agree in advance to abide by the rules have until 2013 to comply.)

The immigration bill (Word
document
), which is backed by the Bush administration and has drawn
the ire of many conservatives
, requires employers to demand
Real ID cards of new hires
starting in 2013. It says that “no driver's
license or state identity card may be accepted if it does not comply with the
Real ID Act.”

It also would try to siphon off opposition on privacy or federalism grounds
from state legislators by offering fat checks–$1.5 billion over five
years–with funds coming from the U.S. Treasury.

Baucus' and Tester's amendment (PDF)
deletes the requirement for employer ID verification and says that “no
federal funds may be provided” to states to create such a system.

Tim Sparapani, the ACLU's legislative counsel, called the vote a
“victory for privacy and a rejection of building an immigration system on
a faulty foundation, which was the Real ID Act.”

That framework is estimated to cost $23.1 billion, according
to the Department of Homeland Security, and could include Americans outfitted
with radio frequency ID, or RFID, chips on the cards (the idea is being
considered but is not final). Personal data that's on the back of the card in a
two-dimensional bar code will not be encrypted because of “operational
complexity,” meaning any business or government agency that scans the
information could record it in a database.

The full story on Cnet
News
.

 

 

Say NO to ID Cards, Say NO to the Database
State.

 

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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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