Monday, February 26, 2007
Smart Cards Also Called National Identity Cards
Are we ready for national identity cards? From reports, these cards will also be "smart cards" much like the credit cards are becoming now. What is wrong with this picture? Well, for one thing, your privacy will become a myth, not that it is much now with the Patriot Act and Homeland Security.
While I was a trucker, the government signed into law that each trucker had to have a CDL or national driver's license which, in theory, could track what laws the trucker was breaking and had broken more efficiently. Previously, truckers AND auto drivers could have more than one license, many had multiple licenses so that if they broke the law with one, another could be gotten out to drive on. Often, a trucker could have many, many tickets and still drive because no one knew about the tickets. Car drivers could do likewise. However, when the CDL came into effect, again in theory, the federal computers were to connect with the state, county and local law enforcement to run drivers licenses for "wants and warrants" thus checking all 50 states for violations. I say, in theory, because at the time I was driving, the system still had some bugs. I have no doubt that it is much more efficient and effective now.
The convenient part to this is that when the federal, state and local law enforcement were able to connect computers, they did not just check CDLs anymore. They began to check all drivers. Now, it becomes wonderfully convenient to issue a national identity card that would supercede your drivers license, social security card, all id cards, credit and debit cards, virtually all cards in your life would be wrapped up in one.
Before you do a happy dance, just think about that for a moment. This card will likely track everything you do. It might have GPS in it. It will certainly be able to ID you at any given moment. "So what?" you might ask. Well, someday soon, it will be harder to have freedom when someone is tracking you 24/7. There was such a thing as privacy but that is a thing of the past. You don't believe it? There are surveillance cameras right now in places you would not believe possible for them to be. Even though we have believed all our lives that we are free, we are not. (See Smart Cameras post below this one)
I wonder when the American public is going to wake up and see that we are slowly and now not-so-slowly losing our freedoms, our privacy, our security. You think you are more secure now? Don't you believe it. There is not much that is secure in this world, let alone this country.
Have you ever had anything stolen from what you believed to be a secure location? I have. It feels like a violation of my life. Do the research. Nothing is very secure anymore...including online anything. My husband has looked into online security. It is largely a myth.
Our freedoms are being stolen even as we sit here on the net doing mostly nothing. Legislators that we voted in are going against everything this country used to stand for. We are being duped into believing that we will become safer if only we are willing to sell off our privacy. But you know what? Privacy is about the only defense we had against the bad guys. Privacy meant that we had something of our own. We could live as we wanted to do, no matter what others thought. But now, there is no such thing. We have sold out to be secure in a place where there is no such thing.
Here is an article from people who oppose the national identity cards.
National Identity Cards...eventually smart cards.
Since September 11th, the nation has struggled to come up with new ideas to prevent such a catastrophe from ever recurring. Disturbingly, many old and repeatedly rejected ideas have reentered the national discourse as well. Among them is the proposed introduction of a national identification card system. EFF opposes any such scheme:
* because no compelling case has been presented for its utility or effectiveness as a crime-fighting tool,
* because of its inevitable costs (in dollars, privacy, and liberty), and
* because of its high potential for abuse, by entities in both the public and private sectors.
Published: May 6, 2005, 4:00 AM PDT ( Do the math. This act will go into effect NEXT YEAR. Are you ready for this? )
What's all the fuss with the Real ID Act about?
President Bush is expected to sign an $82 billion military spending bill soon that will, in part, create electronically readable, federally approved ID cards for Americans. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the package--which includes the Real ID Act--on Thursday.
What does that mean for me?
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. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards.
The House of Representatives has approved an $82 billion military spending bill with an attachment that would mandate electronically readable ID cards for Americans. President Bush is expected to sign the bill. Bottom line:
The Real ID Act would establish what amounts to a national identity card. State drivers' licenses and other such documents would have to meet federal ID standards established by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Real ID Act hands the Department of Homeland Security the power to set these standards and determine whether state drivers' licenses and other ID cards pass muster. Only ID cards approved by Homeland Security can be accepted "for any official purpose" by the feds.
Question: Why don't we hear about this on the evening news? Why isn't this more common knowledge?
Now, what are you going to do about this? Sit at home and veg on the couch til they give you your own personal tattletale card? Or is this important enough to contact your congressperson or senator? You decide....perhaps you would like to do that BEFORE it's too late?