S. 717 to repeal REAL ID Act Spread the word!!!!!!!Tue Apr 3, 2007 18:17
National ID Cards and REAL ID Act
TAKE ACTION: Homeland Security: Real ID, Really Bad
On Feb. 27th S. 717 was introduced into the U.S. Senate. S. 717 would repeal the REAL ID Act on the grounds that it violates individual liberty and privacy. Another reason is that the National ID Card would make it significantly easier to commit identity theft. So far this bill has been kept out of the mainstream media. Write to your Senators and tell them to vote YES on S. 717. We also need to spread the word as quickly as possible.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: S. 717 to repeal REAL ID Act Spread the word!!!!!!!
Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2007 22:36:57 +0000
From: David Schmit email@example.com
To: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
Worst of all, the REAL ID Act would divert resources from security measures ... Two bills in Congress, S. 717 and H.R. 1117, would help achieve the correct ...
* Arkansas Becomes Third State to Reject REAL ID. The Arkansas House and Senate have passed SCR 22 (pdf), a concurrent resolution "To Urge Congress and the United States Department of Homeland Security to Add Critical Privacy and Civil Liberty Safeguards to the REAL ID Act of 2005 and to Fully Fund or Suspend Implementation of the REAL ID Act." The resolution rejected the contention that the REAL ID Act (pdf) adds to national security. The resolution said, "identification-based security provides only limited security benefits because it can be avoided by defrauding or corrupting card issuers and because it gives no protection against people not already known to be planning or committing wrongful acts." The states of Maine and Idaho have passed similar resolutions rejecting REAL ID and about 20 states are considering similar legislation. (Mar. 26)
* Washington State Pilot Tests RFID-enabled licenses. Washington State and the Department of Homeland Security are jointly testing a project where the state driver's licenses and identification cards will be accepted for use under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which regulates travel between the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The Washington State ID cards would include proof of citizenship and other sensitive personal data beyond what current licenses hold. The licenses will include long-range radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, which EPIC has repeatedly warned (pdf) is a privacy and security risk. The Department of Homeland Security's Data Privacy and Intergrity Advisory Committee also has recommended against (pdf) the use of RFID in ID documents. For more information, see EPIC's RFID page and August 2006 Spotlight on Surveillance on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. (Mar. 23)
* EPIC Recommends Against Use of Universal Identifiers. In comments (pdf) to the Federal Trade Commission, EPIC warned against using universal identifiers, such as biometrics, in authentication systems. EPIC explained that a biometric identifier cannot be changed by a victim once his or her identity has been breached -- a fingerprint is unalterable. "Any move toward universal identifiers, while potentially deterring amateur thieves, increases the potential for misuse once determined criminals steal that data," EPIC said. For more information, see EPIC's Biometrics page. (Mar. 23)
* EPIC Appears Before Homeland Security Committee on REAL ID. At a Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee meeting today, EPIC and other groups explained the many security, financial and privacy costs created by the proposed regulations to implement the REAL ID Act (pdf). EPIC explained (pdf) that the ubiquity of licenses; mandate that only REAL ID cards will be used for federal purposes; and proposed universal design for non-REAL ID cards, add up to an atmosphere where people without such cards will be looked upon with suspicion. EPIC's Melissa Ngo said, "Critics of the REAL ID Act and proposed regulations have been labeled anti-security. It is not anti-security to reject a national identification system that does not add to our security protections." (Mar. 21)
History of National Identification Cards
National ID cards have long been advocated as a means to enhance national security, unmask potential terrorists, and guard against illegal immigrants. They are in use in many countries around the world including most European countries, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Currently, the United States and the United Kingdom have continued to debate the merits of adopting national ID cards. The types of card, their functions, and privacy safeguards vary widely.
Americans have rejected the idea of a national ID card. When the Social Security Number (SSN) was created in 1936, it was meant to be used only as an account number associated with the administration of the Social Security system. Though use of the SSN has expanded considerably, it is not a universal identifier and efforts to make it one have been consistently rejected. In 1971, the Social Security Administration task force on the SSN rejected the extension of the Social Security Number to the status of an ID card. In 1973, the Health, Education and Welfare Secretary's Advisory Committee on Automated Personal Data Systems concluded that a national identifier was not desirable. In 1976, the Federal Advisory Committee on False Identification rejected the idea of an identifier.
In 1977, the Carter Administration reiterated that the SSN was not to become an identifier, and in 1981 the Reagan Administration stated that it was "explicitly opposed" to the creation of a national ID card. The Clinton administration advocated a “Health Security Card” in 1993 and assured the public that the card, issued to every American, would have “full protection for privacy and confidentiality.” Still, the idea was rejected and the health security card was never created. In 1999 Congress repealed a controversial provision in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 which gave authorization to include Social Security Numbers on driver's licenses.
In response to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, there has been renewed interest in the creation of national ID cards. Soon after the attacks, Larry Ellison, head of California-based software company Oracle Corporation, called for the development of a national identification system and offered to donate the technology to make this possible. He proposed ID cards with embedded digitized thumbprints and photographs of all legal residents in the U.S. There was much public debate about the issue, and Congressional hearings were held. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich testified that he "would not institute a national ID card because you do get into civil liberties issues." When it created the Department of Homeland Security, Congress made clear in the enabling legislation that the agency could not create a national ID system. In September 2004, then-DHS Secretary Tom Ridge reiterated, "[t]he legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security was very specific on the question of a national ID card. They said there will be no national ID card."
The public continues to debate the issue, and there have been many other proposals for the creation of a national identification system, some through the standardization of state driver's licenses. The debate remains in the international spotlight – several nations are considering implementing such systems. The U.S. Congress has passed the REAL ID Act of 2005, which mandates federal requirements for driver's licenses. Critics argue that it would make driver's licenses into de facto national IDs.
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