Freedom is Slavery
The United States is getting REAL ID, which will effectively give us a national ID card, by requiring personally-identifying RFID chips in passports and state driver’s licenses.
It’s been proposed so many times in recent history, but I wonder if the proposal has ever been so poorly thought-out. Why haven’t you heard about it yet? Because it’s tacked onto the $76 billion Iraq spending bill (to support our troops) and tsunami relief that no one dares oppose.
- The card is required to contain an RFID chip in it, which will, upon request, emit your real home address. This applies to everyone, including people like judges and undercover officers, who depend on anonymity.
- The fact that the technology consists of an embedded RFID is worrysome, because malicious people won’t even have to physically steal your card. They only have to read it using the appropriate device, like a scanner, once they break the encryption. Judging from the fact that wardriving still works, and that government computers are anything but known for their security, that shouldn’t be a problem for long.
- RFID aren’t a proven technology yet. Until now, they’ve only been used in relatively non-critical operations such as stocking shelves at Wal-Mart. We’re now talking about the whole population of a country using an unproven technology, and the EU is also feeling pressure to do the same with their passports.
- It doesn’t stop at home addresses, either. The bill gives the Department of Homeland Security the authority to require more information on these cards in the future. Hey, how about letting everyone with an antenna find out how your traffic record is looking, or what diseases you may have, via DNA? And how about storing all that in a database at ChoicePoint?
Furthermore, it requires states to stop giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. So they’ll just drive without a license, without insurance, and probably without proper training. Great. But I somewhat understand the (inadequate) logic behind this provision: your driver’s license currently counts as official ID in most instances. That’s not what driver’s licenses were intended for. Would you use a “diploma card” to certify that you’re a citizen?
Interestingly, the House member who seems to be the bill’s chief proponent, Jim Sensenbrenner (R–Wisconsin), recently scolded Europe for planning the inclusion of RFIDs in their own passports. Umm… can you say “flip-flop”?
The REAL ID provisions of this bill were actually voted down in Congress last fall, but since it’s now hitching a ride on the must-pass Iraq spending bill, everyone’s voting for it like it’s Thai Chicken or something. And like students, if they already know what the answers are going to be on the test, they’re not going to even read the directions.
Despite that, 12 Senators and over 600 organizations have opposed the bill. (That’s hundred with an h.)
But we need to support our troops who, by the way, still wear metal dogtags. Because Freedom is Slavery.