Real ID, E-Verify, And Outsourcing Passports…
In thinking over the news lately on the above subjects a few things come to mind. Things like how Real ID would put all our information into one place. And along those lines, with the outsourcing of passports, how hard would it be for a terrorist organization to infiltrate the passport company and steal whatever they needed to get into this country legally? Having access to all our information in one place just makes that job a lot easier.
The DHS keeps telling us not to worry, it couldn’t happen, however, this just isn’t so. There has never been, and I doubt will be, a hacker proof system anywhere. So no matter how reassuring DHS is, they still can’t guarantee that we will be safe, secure, or free from identity theft. Real ID just makes it easier. There are some excellent reasons why this system, the way DHS wants to build it, is so flawed as to be avoided at all costs.
Tom Deweese wrote an incredible piece about the databases that the government wants to create in order to make Americans safe. I think it is time to revisit that piece. I truly hope you will take this to heart and understand the profound consequences of these acts on the part of DHS:
Freedom is a very difficult thing to protect. I suppose the definition of freedom can be twisted to accept anything in its name. Many believe that freedom means being safe. Many now believe that creating a national matrix to document our every movement is freedom.
A very wise friend of mine just related a bit of a parable to me that I think puts the situation well into perspective. She asked me this question: Do you know why Zebras have stripes? My answer was – for camouflage. She said, do you see black and white in the landscape of Africa? The stripes don’t blend in. The fact is, when a lion (the predator) seeks to capture a Zebra (the prey) he focuses on one animal from the herd, chasing it down until it drops from exhaustion.
When a herd of Zebras runs to get away from the lion, the stripes make it absolutely impossible to focus on just one animal. Therefore the lions can’t detach just one from the herd. The stripes are the Zebra’s protection.
It would be to the great advantage of the lion to have a system to focus on one Zebra – a chip, an ID card, some way to break it from the herd. On the other hand, it would be a great disadvantage to the Zebra to have such a system of identification.
Mr. Deweese makes a great analogy here for us to think about. But the article is much more in-depth than that. We would definitely be the Zebras in this instance, the terrorists being the predator or lion. I’m sure that the “terrorists” can’t wait for us to get this National ID card going…
The question of whether a National ID is good or bad is really a question of who is the predator and who is the prey. In the case of illegal immigration clearly those of us who want to rid the nation of illegals are the predators. So it is easy to support such means to rid us of this threat. Some of us may even take pride in being able to “show our papers” to prove “we are American citizens.” It’s pretty compelling – until the same system is used to make us the prey.
That is my fear, and that is why I oppose any excuse to create even a small piece of a National ID databank system. Like you, I certainly have political enemies. Someday I will certainly be the prey.
Once begun, even for an honorable purpose, how can the system be controlled? Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff has said, “Again, eventually, this might allow us to do double-duty or triple duty, have the same license also be used to cross the border, and be used for a whole host of other purposes where you now have to carry different identification.” Could it be that those other purposes won’t match what you are hoping to accomplish? Could it be that once such a system is in place it will be out of our control?
Can they guarantee us ethical ONLY people will get to see this information? How about what happened to Barack Obama when someone got curious about his passport information? How often will that happen? And although the persons responsible were caught, can they guarantee that it will:
1)Never happen again, and
2)That the information won’t be used against us at any given time in the future?
I don’t see how they can guarantee anything of the sort. So how does this make us safer as a country, as a people and as a person in general? Reassurance is not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for hard facts that this won’t/can’t happen or I will fight it every step of the way. Abuses in Government agencies are rampant. We’ve seen how kickbacks make things go away, how Congress votes the will of the Corporations not the will of We the People. So there is no reassurance on this earth that will make me believe them right now. Especially not with the bush administration’s track record to date of lies and deceits.
And I’ve not even covered the most important part of this article yet, the part that speaks about the DMV itself and how flawed that system really is. To add to this system only compounds the problems already there. In some cases, bigger isn’t better. Read On:
Congressional testimony by Professor Ben Shneiderman of the University of Maryland explains in great detail the problems inherent in trying to integrate existing data banks as a means to guarantee identification.
“While most proposals have been well intentioned, some have been misguided in that they overlook the potential for unintended consequences or underestimate the technical challenges and risks inherent in their implementation.”
Professor Shneiderman, an expert in human-computer interaction, went on to say: “A national ID system requires a complex integration of social and technical systems, including humans to enter and verify data, plus hardware, software and networks to store and transmit. Such socio-technical systems are always vulnerable to error, breakdown, sabotage and destruction by natural events or by people with malicious intentions.
For this reason, the creation of a single system of identification could unintentionally result in degrading the overall safety and security of the nation, because of the unrealistic trust in the efficacy of the technology…
We must ask whether there is now a secure database that consists of 300 million individual records that can be accessed in real time? The government agencies which come close are the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration, neither of which are capable of maintaining a network that is widely accessible and responsive to voluminous queries on a 24 hour by 7 days a week basis.”
No matter how much we may desire a quick, easy solution to deal with the issue of illegal immigration; no matter how well intentioned we may be to enforce tough laws to make it happen, sometimes such actions are worse than the problem they seek to solve. So it is with using federal data banks to establish “verifiable” Identification.
Moreover, the E-Verify System is not designed, nor ready for the massive accessibility required to meet the requirements of Section 201. The SS data bank is dirty. And it was not created for the purpose of authenticating citizenship.
But you argue that the E-Verify System is already in existence and therefore not helping to create a National ID Card. Consider this congressional testimony by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC): “Under the newly announced changes, the Department of Homeland Security will (1) greatly expand E-Verify, (2) raise fines against employers by 25 percent, (3) increasingly use criminal action against employers, as opposed to administrative action, (4) add to the numbers of databases E-Verify checks by including visa and passport databases, (5) ask states to “voluntarily” allow DHS access to their motor vehicle databases, and (6) use an “enhanced photograph capability” that will allow employers to check photographs in E-Verify databases. These do not resolve the many problems already in E-Verify; instead, the Department of Homeland Security has made the employment eligibility verification worse.”
Well, that answers that one doesn’t it? But we still have questions, so let’s run some numbers huh? Let’s see what would happen if we did this…
The fact is the Real ID Act is not going to just help create a NATIONAL ID, instead it is helping to create an INTERNATIONAL Biometric ID Card. The world is being enrolled into a single global biometric ID system through documents purported to establish and authenticate identity – passports, driver’s license Social Security card and others.
On March 1, 2007 REAL ID’s “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” was issued, revealing REAL ID’s global biometric connection. The three main entities driving this system are: The Department of Homeland Security, The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, (AAMVA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
AAMVA is an international association of motor vehicle and law enforcement officials and is responsible for international biometric driver’s license ID card standards and an international information sharing agreement.
ICAO monitors travelers, designed biometric “e-passports” required for “Visa Waiver Nations” and is affiliated with the United Nations.
Together, DHS, AAMVA and ICAO are fulfilling the three elements necessary for a global biometric system. The fact is, whether it is your intention or not, by including Sections 201 and 203 into the SAVE Act, you are aiding this international ID effort. This won’t increase security, but rather prepare us for a tyranny unknown in human history.
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In order to protect the privacy of the American people it is essential that we decouple identification from driver’s licenses.
The only proper government entity specifically designed to have such information and responsibility is the U.S. Department of State. It alone should have the responsibility to create documents that establish and authenticate identity and that monitor and permit border crossings. And that is really what we are talking about here – border crossings, legal or illegal.
In fact, the State Department is now developing a new passport “card” that possibly could be used to satisfy citizen status that you seek under SAVE. It is less than a full passport and it comes in a wallet size that could be easily carried just as the driver’s license. While it is true that the Card contains an RFID chip (not to our liking) the chip contains no personal information – only a unique number linking the card to stored records contained in secured government databases. The passport Card currently is not valid for flying, but that could be fixed.
I like how he thinks on these issues. It makes sense, more so than anything I’ve heard so far from DHS. These are real suggestions, applicable ones, that would work. They would satisfy DHS on issues like real ID and passports and even E-verify. But does common sense ever work in the Government? I’m really beginning to doubt it. If there are those who know how and what to do, why isn’t the Government taking them seriously? Money, Special Interest, and Lobbyists, that’s why.
Our Government doesn’t work for us anymore, it seems bent on working against us. And cost wise, there would be a lot less money involved in upgrading these systems than in what is needed to do the driver’s license. We are going to have to pay for something, that is for sure. One way or the other, they will implement something. We have to make sure it is the safer alternative.
Please read the whole article. I’ve included some of it here, but the whole article is incredible. Very informative and thoughtful.
~ by justmytruth on April 13, 2008.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tags: actions worse than problem, American Association of Motor Vehicle administrators, Barack Obama, border crossings, breakdown, complex integration of social and techical systems, data bank is dirty, decouple identification from driver's licenses, degrading the overall safety and security of the nation, Department of Motor Vehicles, DMV, double duty, freedom, freedom = safety, global biometric system, guarantees, humans enter data, illegal immigration, Internal Revenue Service, International Civil Aviation Organization, IRS, legal or illegal, massive accessibility, national databases, National ID card, national matrix, natural events, networks to store and transmit data, not designed, not ready, other purposes, outsourcing passports, passports, people with malicious intentions, Prof. Ben Shneiderman, protect our freedoms, prove We are Americans, Real ID, rfid chips, risks inherent in implementation, sabotage and destruction, secretarty Chertoff, Section 201, show our papers, Social Security Administration, SSA, State department, system of identification, technical challenges, technology, Tom Deweese, triple duty, underestimated, unintended consequences, University of Maryland, unrealistic trust, US Dept. of State, vulnerable to error, Zebras