Thursday, July 09, 2009

Unreal ID

Now, Obama’s Homeland Security chief, Janet Napolitano, is urging Congress to enact what is portrayed as “REAL ID-Lite” — the PASS Act (Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification Act of 2009).

But this bill contains many of the same risks as the REAL ID. And Napolitano is promoting requiring state drivers’ licenses to contain RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips with unique numbers for each individual.

While the 2005 REAL ID Act only changed the standards for identification used for federal purposes, and did not create national standards for identification (as the article briefly mentions, "More than half of all the state legislatures have passed resolutions or laws restricting REAL ID’s bite in their state."), national identification is a threat to individual liberty and states' rights. The PASS ID Act does create a national mandate for universal identification cards.

While I'm confident that any RFID requirement can be neutralized with available technology (devices are available to overload RFID chips), what this new law does is not supportable. It creates universal standards that are easily surpassed through fraudulent means. This punishes law-abiding people while rewarding illegal behavior.

PASS ID is a bad idea. We need a Senate dedicated to keeping power decentralized.

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