New DHS Strategy On Real ID: We'll Just Pretend Everyone Implemented It

from the hell-no-means-yes dept

The Department of Homeland Security had been threatening that drivers’ licenses in certain states wouldn’t be valid federal IDs if states didn’t promise by the end of March to implement the troubled Real ID rules. However, somewhere along the line (with a handful of states vehemently protesting the rules), it appears that Secretary Chertoff and the DHS simply decided that it would pretend every state agreed to implement Real ID and deal with reality later. DHS put out a press release claiming that all states had met the “initial requirements” for Real ID, and even painted its silly map green to show “compliance.” The problem is that this simply isn’t true. It looks as though DHS simply decided that any communication, even if it was to tell the DHS that there was no chance the state would implement Real ID, would be read as if it were the state agreeing to enact Real ID’s rules. The whole thing is rather comical until you realize these are the folks who are supposed to be protecting the country.

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Comments on “New DHS Strategy On Real ID: We'll Just Pretend Everyone Implemented It”

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41 Comments
Rich Kulawiec says:

Re: New Dept of Newspeak and Painted Reality

I would very much like to agree with you, but I feel compelled to point out that 1984 is vastly beyond the pathetically feeble intellectual abilities of The Shrub. Perhaps, when seeking the original source of policies such as this one, we should refer to material known to be within his reach; say, My Pet Goat.

DCX2 says:

The real problem

People love to rail on Bush, but it’s the Bush Administration that is the problem, not just any one member. You cannot forget Cheney, Rove, Bolten, Addington, Rice, Gonzales, Yoo, Chertoff, Deutsch, Rumsfeld, and so forth. They all gain by systematically exploiting our country and its resources.

At least when it comes to Real ID, we find out that it is possible to fight back, and win.

Evil Mike (profile) says:

"Real ID"

One country – one national ID card doesn’t exactly sound that threatening. But then, what exactly are passports for? Why not just require everybody to get a passport?

No matter what the system, there exists the potential to abuse the system to empower one’s own position while subjugating the populace.

News Flash – !
Big Brother is already watching you. Watch your doublespeak and doublethink, otherwise you might disappear to somewhere where you have no rights.

Until there is another revolution, USA in her teen years is going continue to be a whoring teen bitch, set on dominating everybody. (She’ll be sweet once she’s all grown up though)

Obvious Troll says:

Teen years

Oh come on, she’s not that much of a whore.

Okay, so maybe she likes to be on top. Of everyone…

I’m not worried about DHS being morons. It was obvious they were when I last flew. My 2 year old had to take his shoes off and they had us not have nail clippers. I also then bought one at the store in the terminal. I refuse to believe anyone can take over a plane with a nail clipper but I wanted to be armed to fight them if they tried, just in case.

Pete Valle (user link) says:

National Identity Cards

Why are Americans so afraid of a national identity card? By the way, I am an American citizen, but not from the U.S. by birth. I fail to grasp why there is such a huge backlash against ID cards. The government already has tons of info on you, even if you don’t want it to. Anybody can Google your name and find out everything about you, anyways.

Many other countries have successfully implemented national ID card programs. Why can’t we? Are we so distrustful of our government in general?

Rich Kulawiec says:

Re: National Identity Cards

There are myriad reasons for this, far too many to go into a lengthy explanation here. So I won’t. Instead, I’ll turn the question around: why should we have national identity cards? That’s the correct question to ask, because it puts 100% of the burden of proof on the proponents.

And it is clear that those proponents have utterly, completely, miserably failed to answer that question. They have made many assertions, to be sure, such as “ID cards will prevent terrorism” or “ID cards will stop crime” or “ID cards will curtail illegal immigration” but that’s all they are: assertions. They (and everyone else) have not been able to back those assertions up. They have simply kept repeating them in the hopes that ignorant sheeple will eventually presume, because they’ve heard it often enough, that it’s true. (And they may be right.)

Moreover: the burden of proof also rests with proponents to make the case that the negative consequences of national identity cards do not outweigh their positive impact (if any) and that adequate thinking about those consequences has taken place, sufficient to mitigate them in whole or part. This is another area where they’ve totally failed, because instead of making this case, they have simply dismissed concerns as “unrealistic” or “inconsequential” or “minor”. This is of course not true, as even casual observers are fully aware that there are severe problems with such ID card schemes.

Every engineer knows that “What problem are you trying to solve?” and “Will your proposed solution make it worse?” are basic questions that must be asked and answered before any project is tackled. National identity card proponents do not possess satisfactory answers to these questions, so their approach has been to pretend they don’t exist. This is duplicitous and dishonest, at best.

Dave Zawislak says:

Re: National Identity Cards

As always, it’s what that is proposed and what everyone knows will happen.

Without one, you will not be able to travel – they say fly right now, but any transportation will have to be protected.

Without one, you will not be able to access federal government buildings – try addressing your grievences or suing a federal agency without going into a federal court.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: National Identity Cards

its because this country was formed on the idea that states and federal where seperate entitys, this infact forces this line even closer and crosses it on many levels. it is the UNITED STATES…while it may not seem to be a big deal to have the fed decide what does and doesnt go on a ID card, its one step closer to a FORCED federal identification. DHS already steps on the states and the constitution all in the name of protecting us from the boogy man who comes in the night.

In the spirit of this country and how it was formed, our nature is to be distrustfull of the goverment, it is our right to question and challange our goverment, but not only is it our right, it is our responsibilty AND its the only way to keep our freedom. already we have people losing there right to council when being accused of say terriosim (wich is becomming a catch all for anything illegal) this country is on the border of losing its independence and the republican bush (who is supposed to stand for less goverment, har har har) is taking us back to the england we fought so hard to break away. Let this go through and soon black water will be patroling our streets and kicking down doors looking for terriosim activitys.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: National Identity Cards

The government already has tons of info on you, even if you don’t want it to.

That’s bad enough. There’s no good reason to make things worse.

Anybody can Google your name and find out everything about you, anyways.

That statement demonstrates a woeful ignorance of the amount of information the government is collecting. That level of information is not available through a Google search on a name. No wonder you don’t see anything wrong.

Withheld # 9999 says:

National Identity cards

This entire subject has, as usual, been hijacked by the hysterical anti-Bush, anti- gov’t, anti-everything crowds.
This has nothing to do with National ID. It simply is a standard whereby all government-issued IDs from any government source will be issued the same way with the same requirements. That’s all. NO requirement that everyone have an ID, NO requirement that you get tatooed or implanted with an RFID chip. If you don’t want an ID or license, don’t get one! You know, there are plenty of other reasons for a reliable ID besides boarding an airplane – for instance, when that moron runs a red light and hits your car, don’t you want the assurance that the fool is really who he says he is? Or when you take a check from someone, or you hire someone, or before you let that kid date your daughter.
Lighten up and look at the big picture. It’s too bad that we cannot trust everyone to present themselves as who they really are, but that’s the price we’ve paid for “progress.”
(BTW, I used the name that I did to be sarcastic. Get it?)

Rich Kulawiec says:

Re: National Identity cards

You are making a large, and quite obvious error. You are presuming that the goals you list — and state as desirable — are achievable via national identity cards.

They’re not.

Moreover, as has been repeatedly discussed at great length (I would recommend Bruce Schneier’s blog as one location for these discussions) the creation and dissemination of national identity cards would make it much easier to fake identities, those not only failing to achieve the goals you list, but actively working against them. I realize that this is counter-intuitive to many people, but “many people” are not qualified, experienced security experts, so this is not surprising.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: National Identity cards

NO requirement that everyone have an ID,…

That’s rather misleading. No, technically, one doesn’t have to have an ID. You could always just go hang yourself. But under this program, if you want to freely travel and participate in society, you would have to have one of these IDs.

…NO requirement that you get tatooed or implanted with an RFID chip.

More of your misleading rhetoric. No one here has claimed that those things are included in this program. Do you work for the government or something? You sure sound like it.

Anonymous Coward says:

States/Federal

Whenever I’ve discussed politics with somebody outside the United States, they have hardly ever really understood the relationship between the state and federal governments… and without understanding that, much of the United States is incomprehensible.

Many of our own citizens don’t understand it, as well. The reaction to ‘lack of response’ during hurricane Katrina indicates that. Certain functions of government are assigned to the states, and the Federal government has neither the right nor the responsibility to act in those areas. Identification cards are one of those areas. As are elections, incidentally; there is no national election in the U.S., only a large number of state elections that are held on the same day.

John (profile) says:

Two points

First, we already have two national forms of ID: drivers licenses and passports. Why do we need this “Real ID”? Like a poster above said, just make everyone get a US passport. That way, they can have a federal-government issued ID *and* they can travel to another country if they wish.

Second, once a national ID program gets started, how long will it be until we’re required to carry “papers” everywhere? You know, just in case some cop on the street wants to stop and question us? After all, we might be a terrorist or he might want to “protect the children”.

Clueby4 says:

Non-Standard Standards

What has yet to be addressed is the DMVs procedures for providing the id and maintaining information on it.

With the currently proposed system, if some DMV department decides to make a capacious change it could affect every US citizen’s REAL ID.

Since the didn’t standardize how each department issues the ids, or more importantly cost, which should be free. The Real ID program is a failure before it gets out the gates.

I repeat what the opponents have stated numerous times; WHY EXACTLY DO WE NEED NATIONAL ID CARD!?

Withheld # 9999 says:

>You are making a large, and quite obvious error. You are presuming that the goals you list — and state as desirable — are achievable via national identity cards.>NO requirement that everyone have an ID,…That’s rather misleading. No, technically, one doesn’t have to have an ID. You could always just go hang yourself. But under this program, if you want to freely travel and participate in society, you would have to have one of these IDs.>…NO requirement that you get tatooed or implanted with an RFID chip.More of your misleading rhetoric. No one here has claimed that those things are included in this program. Do you work for the government or something? You sure sound like it.

Anonymous Coward says:

OK, that reply got really screwed up.
“Large error” guy: no, not a national ID, a properly-issued state ID.
“Hang yourself” guy: Sorry, I didn’t realize the level of paranoia surrounding this topic would preclude anyone from recognizing sarcasm.
This is very simple. I have not seen a thing emanating from DHS that says that travel would be forbidden without an ID. I also have not seen a thing that calls for a US Gov’t issued ID. What I have seen is a proposed requirement for all the states to utilize the same tamper-resistant format and have people provide proof that they are who they say they are. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
Yup, DHS is certainly a candidate for the “Gang that couldn’t shoot straight” club. But establishing national standards is what is expected of federal agencies (i.e., the national standards for CDL issue from DOT.) Are “we” paranoid that a truck driver can only have one CDL, or that all states utilize the .08 BAC standard, or that interstate highways are all marked with the tricolor shield? Sorry, but I don’t buy into the whole “fear of gov’t, black helicopters, secret underground UFO bunker” mentality, partly because I think that’s loony, and partly because these “secret overreaching gov’t dynasty out to get you” theories give the gov’t too much credit. 🙂

Withheld # 9999 says:

OK, that reply got really screwed up.
“Large error” guy: no, not a national ID, a properly-issued state ID.
“Hang yourself” guy: Sorry, I didn’t realize the level of paranoia surrounding this topic would preclude anyone from recognizing sarcasm.
This is very simple. I have not seen a thing emanating from DHS that says that travel would be forbidden without an ID. I also have not seen a thing that calls for a US Gov’t issued ID. What I have seen is a proposed requirement for all the states to utilize the same tamper-resistant format and have people provide proof that they are who they say they are. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
Yup, DHS is certainly a candidate for the “Gang that couldn’t shoot straight” club. But establishing national standards is what is expected of federal agencies (i.e., the national standards for CDL issue from DOT.) Are “we” paranoid that a truck driver can only have one CDL, or that all states utilize the .08 BAC standard, or that interstate highways are all marked with the tricolor shield? Sorry, but I don’t buy into the whole “fear of gov’t, black helicopters, secret underground UFO bunker” mentality, partly because I think that’s loony, and partly because these “secret overreaching gov’t dynasty out to get you” theories give the gov’t too much credit. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This is very simple. I have not seen a thing emanating from DHS that says that travel would be forbidden without an ID.

The plan would restrict commercial air travel for those without the ID. Now that’s certainly a restriction on being able to freely travel. So you’re either very ignorant about the subject or are being deliberately deceptive. Either way, I’m not buying your bullshit.

No Tin Foil says:

Re: Re:

Sorry, but I don’t buy into the whole “fear of gov’t, black helicopters, secret underground UFO bunker” mentality, partly because I think that’s loony, and partly because these “secret overreaching gov’t dynasty out to get you” theories give the gov’t too much credit.

Well, so far you were the only one here to mention “black helicopters” or a “secret underground UFO bunker” or anything like that, leading me to believe that you’re the biggest nut of all.

You can go put your strawman back in the closet now.

Withheld #9999 says:

See the last 3 words of this paragraph:
After 2011, a Federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver’s license or identification card issued by a state to any person unless the state is meeting the requirements specified in the REAL ID Act. States remain free to also issue non-complying licenses and IDs, so long as these have a unique design and a clear statement that they cannot be accepted for any Federal identification purpose. The federal Transportation Security Administration is responsible for security check-in at airports, so bearers of non-compliant documents would no longer be able to travel on common carrier aircraft WITHOUT ADDITIONAL SCREENING.

This DOES NOT say that a person without an approved ID CANNOT fly. It DOES say they will go to the selectee lane with all the others singled out for additional attention, after which they may go to their plane.
I fail to see why or how anything else can be read into this.

Withheld # 9999 says:

Who ever said it did? Uh, you guys.
As fo your “strawman” comment (and the other guy’s “fascist”), that’s typical “Shut up, conservative idiot. Liberals know better” insults designed to control the tone of the conversation, intimidate the opposition, and give the person offering those comments a (rather immature) sense of superiority.
As for the topic: While I certainly agree that demanding an unreasonable amount of information for the purpose of granting access to mass transportation certainly seems like an intrusion on privacy, the real question is where do you draw the line between making travel as safe as possible while allowing access to be as free as possible? Do you err on the side of caution or on the side of unfettered access? Do any of us really want to be in the position of responsibility for deciding?
The bottom line seems to be that those who would do harm to large groups of us at once have taken advantage of our freedom to travel about unquestioned. I hate that. I hate that the “answer” our gov’t wants to put in place involves restrictions. I hate that they are forced to consider these measures to bow to political correctness rather than common sense. But I accept that it’s the lesser of two evils, at least as long as non-politically correct measures are off the table.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

#12 said proposed. Not that it is official yet. Big difference.

#22 said freely, not cannot. Again, big difference.

Of course, it’s hard to tell when there are “secret” laws involved and DHS’ mis-truths printed on signs at airports. Go look up the story on what happened to John Gilmore when he tried to fly without an approved ID.

Withheld # 9999 says:

Well, whether or not it’s a “big difference” is in the eye of the beholder.
We can certainly agree on “secret” laws and “mis-truths.” People do get stopped every day for nothing as more than an expired ID or for not having their liquids in a freakin’ plastic bag. Do I agree with that? Absolutely not!! What I do know (from observation, not inside info or anything like that) is that all major decisions by TSA have to be ok’d by their bosses in DC…and that the local reps tend to err on the side of what they think DC would do vs. common sense, especially if they are a bit weak in the intestinal fortitude dept.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well, whether or not it’s a “big difference” is in the eye of the beholder.

Or whether you like to redefine terms to suit yourself.

I guess we’ll just leave that to the reader. Whether “proposed” is the same actual and whether not being able to do something “freely” is the same as not being to do it at all. I think I know what most people would say.

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