DHS Official: 'Real ID Has A Bad Bumper Sticker Reputation'

from the you-don't-say dept

CNet reports on a talk by Department of Homeland Security official Stewart Baker, in which he defended the Real ID Act against its many critics. Conceding that the proposal "has a bad bumper sticker reputation," he insisted that the Real ID Act will make it easier to catch identity thieves. But as my colleague Jim Harper has pointed out, the opposite is closer to the truth: by centralizing loads of private data in one database, the Real ID Act will make identity thieves' jobs a lot easier. One sign of how badly Real ID is faring can be judged from the fact that Baker is bragging about the fact that 45 states plus DC have been granted waivers to continue using their existing driver's licenses while they work toward complying with the law by next year. Why is it a victory that 45 states are going to miss the original deadline this coming May? Because the other 5 states have refused to comply at all. There are a couple of things to note about this. First, as Declan McCullagh points out, DHS has been practically begging states to request waivers, and a number of states have accepted waivers while continuing to express doubts about whether they'll ever comply. Second, there's no way the feds are actually going to impose the promised punishment -- refusing to accept state IDs in airports -- on the residents of the five states that have refused to comply with the law's requirements. Imagine the chaos if every traveler in South Carolina discovered that his or her South Carolina driver's license was no longer a valid form of identification. The feds will back down (especially since showing your ID isn't legally required at airports anyway) rather than risk being held responsible for chaos at the nation's airports.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    TheDock22, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 1:32pm

    Go Montana!

    We are another state who will not comply with the Real ID crap. Although I think the states issue is more about the money it would take to implement it than protecting the citizens.

     

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  2.  
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    slimcat (profile), Mar 5th, 2008 @ 1:35pm

    Security Theater

    I doubt terrorists cells which are already established here (Do you think they aren't) will have much difficulty getting around anything DHS can think up. Lumbering bureaucracies are sitting ducks for guerrilla tactics.

     

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  3.  
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    JB, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    Tracking

    Real ID will not stop a determined terrorist. But it will provide for the tracking of U.S. citizens.

    I don't look forward to the day when we are required to scan our Real ID cards to enter public buildings, ride public transportation, cash a check, etc., etc., All in the name of safety and "homeland security". DHS requests that you please ignore that massive database of all your activities that will be accumulated.

     

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  4.  
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    jeeper87, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    its just one more step...

    toward the North American Union

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=vuBo4E77ZXo

    thats some scary stuff if you never heard of it before...

     

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  5.  
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    sonofdot, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Go Montana!

    This is yet another federal goverment mandate, that will foolishly waste resources, especially money, for a program that will never work. What about people who don't or can't drive? Are they not allowed to fly? "Sorry, ma'am, you'll have to take the train."

    The people this program is supposed to "protect" us from will find a way around it before the states and the fed are finished arguing about it. What we really need protection from is government types trying to circumvent the Constitution and restrict our freedom, under the guise of "protecting" us. You can never be protected by having your rights taken away.

     

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  6.  
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    TheDock22, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Go Montana!

    What about people who don't or can't drive? Are they not allowed to fly? "Sorry, ma'am, you'll have to take the train."

    You have to have some sort of identification if you are over the age of 18 in order to fly. Driving has nothing to do with it. You can get a state issued ID or passport, which are both accepted at airports.

    How does this Real ID affect passports? Would you have to show BOTH to fly or will a passport still work?

     

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  7.  
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    Crazy Turk, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Go Montana!

    That is just about the most ignorant comment I've heared. No I'm not a fan of Real ID per say but there is pluses to having a national ID card together with local ID cards... and the reason I think your ignorant sonofdot is that nowhere does it state that you can't get a real ID if you don't have a drivers licsence... unless your state does not issue ID cards... you look at some models out there that work and you wonder why it was done state by state... I also like the fact that you can't be a criminal in one state and come to another with a clean slate just because that state doesn't share it's records with other states... but it won't matter what I say because in the end in your mind the Gov. is really ran by aliens and little green men in black unmarked helicopters will come abduct you and stick things up your ass to find out what you ate

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 3:12pm

    a more interesting tactic to protest REAL ID

    I recently had a conversation with the head of driver's licensing in an Eastern state. He stated that they had done the math and it would be cheaper for the state to pay for everyone who got a license to go get a passport than comply with REAL ID. They won't do that but I think it is a great idea. Think about it take that unfunded mandate and while you are saving money on complying screw the Feds by over-stressing the Dept of State.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Go Montana!

    but it won't matter what I say because in the end in your mind the Gov. is really ran by aliens and little green men in black unmarked helicopters will come abduct you and stick things up your ass to find out what you ate

    Yep, you sure sound like the kind of a$$hole nut-job that would be all for this.

     

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  10.  
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    Tim Lee, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Go Montana!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Tracking

    I don't look forward to the day when we are required to scan our Real ID cards to enter public buildings, ride public transportation, cash a check, etc., etc., All in the name of safety and "homeland security". DHS requests that you please ignore that massive database of all your activities that will be accumulated.
    They need a record of all your activities in case you ever piss them off. Then it'll be easy to make selective use of such info to build a case against you.

     

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  12.  
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    k, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Go Montana!

     

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  13.  
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    krsd, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Go Montana!

    Passports still work, though I believe any older ones without the new "security measures" for RealID may end up with you subject to further questioning... pretty much the same as is talked about in the refferenced article about flying without ID (http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/06/71115)

     

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  14.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 4:32pm

    I have to drive an hour away to a different city just to apply for my birth certificate from another state. I also have to pay a printing fee and a shipping fee... to the tune of 75.00 dollars. That's after I've taken off of work and driven an hour and a half away in my minivan, paid for parking, lunch, and then driven back home in my gas-guzzling mini-van.

    When I was a single mom of two without a car, that was impossible to do. Now that I am married and my household has more money, it is improbable and damned inconvenient.

    This RealID shit is exactly that: bullshit. Poor people will be unable to get IDs and how the hell are you supposed to get a job, apply for a car loan, etc. without an ID? You can't even open a bank account without an ID. So, apparently, poor people will now be equated with terrorists (who will still be able to get fake brth certificates and get RealIDs) and be even less able to get the hell off of Welfare.

    Great idea, feds! Don't we all love George's America?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 5:16pm

    Because being taxed 50 different ways by the government isn't enough, now you must buy another ID card from them.

    It's not about safety, it's not about terrorists, it never has been. It's been about milking the American people of as much of their money as possible, while sending all the jobs over seas, to our enemies.

     

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  16.  
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    Cynic, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 5:55pm

    The Department of Hopeless Stupidity has given no good cost benefit analysis that I've seen (at least that would have impressed my 6th grade history teacher). It's amazing, all those years I was taught that I'd better learn to use my mind logically and learn from history and now I find myself dumped into a future where the government is apparently run by mindless hacks on the level of your average Human Resources department. You know the drill, the passive voice memo with no real substances: "due to circumstances beyond our control it has become necessary for us to implement new procedures for the improvement of service..."

     

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  17.  
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    opit, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 8:15pm

    Real ID

     

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  18.  
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    opit, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 8:17pm

    Real ID

    People don't seem to appreciate the real advantages to Real ID. The poor, not being able to afford it, won't be able to prove themselves American citizens : no voting, no welfare, no representation.

     

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  19.  
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    Squidly, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Real ID

    That would depend upon your definition of "poor".

    If you use the new, liberal definition, it is anyone who makes less that $60k/year. ;-)

     

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  20.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 11:40pm

    That's funny because...

    ...I got my voters registration card without a state ID. So I could still vote, even when I was a welfare recipient. I'd also like to point out that there's an etire political party that believes firmly in a welfare system. It won't stop because welfare recipients stop voting, if indeed they do vote. I certainly didn't. I was always at work and did not own a car. So it will just make it harder for poor folk to do things like open bank accounts so that they can cash checks without fees, get loans for vehicles so they can stop paying crippling transportation fees, etc. etc. It won't be the biggest factor keeping people on welfare but it will most definitively be a hindrance. And is that what we want? Making sure that every poor person has to choose between getting costly birth certificates and costly IDs or getting groceries? What would you do? What the hell could you do? Go hungry for RealID? I don't think so. And my household earns less than thirty thousand a year now. We are not on welfare, and we are lucky enough to not have to count ourselves amongst those who are going to be adversely affected by this Orwellian ID move. Russians used to have to have internal passports showing who they were to be allowed to move by train throughtout Communist Russia. (Before airplanes were used for mass transportation there.) It's good to know that we'll have to have our own little RealID passports to do the same through America. We'll be just as safe as those Russians were.

     

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  21.  
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    bshock, Mar 6th, 2008 @ 8:16am

    Dear Mr. Baker:

    You know what else might make it easier to catch identity thieves? Tattooing barcodes on the foreheads of all Americans.

    Get the idea? Sometimes a solution is worse than the problem itself.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2008 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    So, apparently, poor people will now be equated with terrorists...

    Why not? Both should be in prison.

     

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  23.  
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    Charlo, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 11:41am

    Re: Dear Mr. Baker:

    Where do we lineup for our RFID implants and Forehead protectors (barcodes)?

     

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  24.  
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    Dawn, Jan 1st, 2009 @ 11:51am

    Stewart Baker is the Real McCoy 911 Insider!

    Stewart Baker lied to Congress (felony) when it asked him many times during his service as Assistant Secretary of Policy about the next-gen identification and commerce credential. He lied of its existence by stating it didn't exist! I have had a prototype on my keychain for years of that next-gen tech standard called "smart wallet" by NIST. It does exist!

    For well over seven years the smart wallet tech standard inventor has declined the financial offers of the orchestrators of 911 against our best financial interests caused mostly by the actions of Stewart Baker!

    When Tom Ridge was "fired" by President Bush on November 30, 2004 General Hayden (then NSA Director) gave as an explanation to Fox News it was because Ridge failed to fund the next-generation of technologies. This was because the smart wallet inventor 3 days prior blew the dust off of a 19 months old German financing package to become German and break the Buy American laws.

    In mid-December of 2004 General Hayden gave a second explanation to Fox News for Ridge’s departure. It was because Ridge failed to dedicate staff to medium and long-term planning. When the explanations were given by General Hayden, the smart wallet inventor heard them and backed-off of its becoming German. The company and invention remain U.S. based!

    Stewart Baker as Assistant Secretary of Policy taking-over to undo Ridge’s wrongs, held the post that was supposed to address the DHS’ medium and long-term planning needs that Ridge had neglected. He knew the smart wallet was forerunner based on merit for every DHS credentialing program including Real ID because of the wallet’s respect for privacy and infallible security protection, and that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House Office of Homeland Security and DOD Combating Terrorism Technology Support Office Technical Support Working Group established this in 2002 eight months into the smart wallet inventor (worldwide intellectual property holder) declining a 100 % financing offer from the orchestrators of 911. This federal technology policy stemming from the President’s statement that “the U.S. will technologically remain many steps ahead of its enemies” also was established seven months after the smart wallet inventor was told by an agent of the orchestrators of 911 that everyone in the U.S. who needed to be bought had been.

    Stewart Baker—visible by his own track record at DHS as Assistant Secretary of Policy was one of the DHS officials to take office referenced as having been bought by the orchestrators of 911’s agent. He took office, lied to Congress of the smart wallet’s existence even though Congress knew to ask and was asking, and the inventor has the phone and email records to prove we did pursue him. He hasn’t a single excuse of why he lied to Congress. His only excuse is that he is employed by the orchestrators of 911 while also employed as DHS Assistant Secretary of Policy!

    The orchestrators of 911 want nothing more than to quash democracy. Stewart Baker is a traitor to everyone residing within the world’s democracies and he has committed treason against the American people! Not only is treason punishable by a court of law, but so is his deprivation of his honest services to taxpayers and felonies when lying to Congress punishable!

     

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