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Coming Soon: National ID Card

by TChris

Americans have long opposed the concept of a national identity card. Privacy advocates are concerned that new federal standards for drivers licenses will create a de facto national ID card, "centralizing information that can be misused - by letting the government track the whereabouts of innocent people, for instance."

The biggest danger is that, as the nation becomes more security-minded, and relies more on driver's licenses as ID, our society changes, [Marv] Johnson said. "You just wind up being a nation where you have to show your papers to go anyplace. That's something the American people have never put up with."

States and the federal government will be wrestling with the content and design of the license for at least a year-and-a-half before the requirements take effect. States can opt out of the federal requirements, but the state issued licenses would then be useless as identification for any federal purpose, including boarding an airplane.

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  • Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#1)
    by Johnny on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 04:59:02 PM EST
    Whats the big deal? If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about. Sarcasm intended.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 05:13:45 PM EST
    If you can trust the government you have nothing to fear. I am a little worried.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 05:22:29 PM EST
    Perhaps the feds used us seniors as a trial run on the ID card. Last Summer when I checked into a national park, the official confiscated my Golden Age discount card and replaced it with a new one containing a nice little computer chip. Now they can pop it in their computer and track me from one federal location to another. But I have total trust in government to never abuse power, of course.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 06:18:37 PM EST
    At Bushliar's trial, we can give him the option: 1,000 years in prison, or how 'bout we stuff every single one of those Fed IDs up his tuchus, and give him 30 years. --

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 06:21:39 PM EST
    For sure, the usual "guilty until proven innocent" crowd supports it. What's disturbing is the support from Democrats. Howard Dean supported it. Hillary Clinton wanted a National ID Card containing medical records. Supposedly Progressive or Mainstream Democratic Senators Boxer, Feinstein, Dodd, Harkin, Mikulski, Kennedy, and Daschle have supported legislation establishing a national ID card. Just as we cannot trust our government when they tell us the reasoning behind war, we cannot trust our government with our private information - no matter how well intentioned. Many of these same Democrats supported the Patriot Act. Progressives should delineate between the tools needed to right injustices in our society and the tools that can be used (by present-day or future American leaders) to oppress our society. The ID Card is obviously the latter.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 07:14:57 PM EST
    Funny thing, I've had a federal ID card for 25 years now. It's called a passport. And I need it to leave and re-enter the country. Now, as to wether or not we should need it to move internally - h*ll no. I would suggest that much more mild security measures would be easily as effective if allowed. Data profiling through commercial sources, for example. -C

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimcee on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 07:17:18 PM EST
    Not to rain on anyone's "Big Brother rant" parade but if you have a social security number then you can be tracked by anyone, Gov't or otherwise. Yeah it sucks but it happened when no one was looking. What surprises me is that there are many corresponents on this site that are afraid of the Gov't as Big Brother but still want that same Gov't to care for you and protect you.... It just seems rather hypocritical. You can't have privacy and socialism at the same time.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#8)
    by desertswine on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 07:56:16 PM EST
    First national ID cards, then subcutaneous transponders. Philip K. Dick where are you?

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 08:20:07 PM EST
    You can't have privacy and socialism at the same time. Ooops. You forgot Fascism. I know that the only forms of Totalitarianism in the Conservative vocabulary are Communism and Socialism, but you could at least try not to be so transparent. It just seems rather hypocritical. Yeah, I get that. That is kind of how it seems when the "States Rights" crowd cry for an ammendment banning gay marriage. if you have a social security number then you can be tracked by anyone, Gov't or otherwise Uh huh. That's exactly the same thing as having one contiguous database of medical records cross reference-able with criminal records cross reference-able with overdue library books. Also the same as Driver Licenses with GPS chips in them. Here, I'll bold it for you this time, just in case your eyes try to miss it again: "Progressives should delineate between the tools needed to right injustices in our society and the tools that can be used (by present-day or future American leaders) to oppress our society."

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 10:09:57 PM EST
    I don't support a new national ID card when the one we've got works just fine. The social security card! (as jimcee pointed out) For those that don't think you can be tracked by your SSN... Sorry to break the news to ya but you can. I have a friend in the Army.. He told me that. Of course, I didn't belive him so I asked him to prove it. I gave him my SSN. The next evening when I seen him, he told me where I had been recently shopping, the last time I went to the doctor's office and that I had just gotten bonded. HMM... Among other things. Here's the thing. Most all things are tracked via the SSN. Credit cards will tell your shopping history. Oh did I give them my SSN? Yep. Unless you pay cash with everything the govt is going to be all up in your business if they so choose - even then they're still going to know a lot of what you do.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 10:13:02 PM EST
    So what happens if all blue states opt out and no good American from a blue state signs up for the fed. i.d.? Airline industry shuts down? Noooo. It is about time we as a nation of consumers flex the only muscles we have left -- our buying power. JC

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 07:21:32 AM EST
    One possible advantage of national ID cards would be the use they could put to in identifying eligible voters at polling places. A simple swipe of your card and they would know if you were a registered citizen eligible to vote in that district. No more provisional ballots, and no more voting in multiple districts. Given the last two presidential elections, that alone might make it worth while. Granted this would require cleaning up and then maintaining the voter rolls, but this is something we should be doing anyway if our democracy is to mean anything.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 07:29:24 AM EST
    I forgot that its the Republican Talking Point of the month to destroy Social Security.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 07:32:40 AM EST
    Tampa Student, Good comment. Many bills progressives oppose (patriot act etc.) would have never passed if progressive politicians had voted against it. When something like this comes up progressive's opposition efforts are better spent contacting their politicians and urging them to oppose this measure.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 08:10:36 AM EST
    TChris, It is interesting to note that this was part of the intelligence reform bill that you had earlier complained the Republicans had not done enough to pass. TChris on intelligence reform Anyone concerned with civil liberties or opposed to big government bureaucratic bloat should have opposed this bill. This wreck of a bill would not have passed if it had not been pushed by the show boating members of the 9/11 commission. I believe much of this pushing was done in an effort to damage Bush before the election. Everybody would be better off if they based their actions on their principles, not on what might damage the politicians they oppose.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 08:23:46 AM EST
    et al - Who will watch the watchers? Did you ever think that when someone asks for your SS # that all you have to do is say no? I have done it several times, and we always seem to get through the process. American Express wanted a password for me to have to use their customer service and suggested my mothers birthday. When I got through laughing at them they aplogized. It probably won't work with a credit card company you are trying to get a card from. They want to be sure you are you. And if you want a driver's license you are going to need it and some additional ID. Which isn't bad, when you think of it. But if the NYT wants info about you for permission to enter their website, how accurate does it have to be? Will they sell your iformation? You know, once upon a time I misspelled my name on a magazine subscription. Within weeks I was getting junk mail to "Jom." Kinda told me what happened.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 10:16:24 AM EST
    I always, always, always use my first name rather than my middle (Cliff) when handing out information. Not only is junk mail identifiable but I can also pick out telemarketers in a flash. Ever try going into a hospital without giving them a social security number? -C

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimcee on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 11:19:05 AM EST
    Tampa Student, I left out fascism because I was careless not because I think facsism is a good thing. I was simply pointing out that we all have a national ID already not that I'm in favor of one. So keep your sanctomonious clap-trap to yourself, please. The stereotypes you toss out tell more about yourself than about others. And again I was simply pointing out that many of those who think that intrusive Gov't is the answer to every problem, such as health care, are the same folks who scream bloody murder about a Nat'l ID. You simply can't have it both ways no matter how misinformed you are.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 11:26:02 AM EST
    desertswine writes "Philip K. Dick where are you?" Dead of a stroke for 22 years and sorely missed for his great SF. BTW`- The only sf movie ever produced that is great in any view - action, adventure, speculative science, philosophical - is "Blade Runner." ("Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?") Cliff - Nope. Fortunately my adult hospital experience is extremely limited. What they really want now is your medicare number. ;-)

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 05:20:11 PM EST
    Object! Obstruct! Oppose! This must be fought tooth and nail.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 05:46:23 PM EST
    So keep your sanctomonious clap-trap to yourself, please. The stereotypes you toss out tell more about yourself than about others. Um... It just seems rather hypocritical. You can't have privacy and socialism at the same time. You first.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 08:04:02 PM EST
    Noname - Surely you are not ignoring the excellent (and nihilistic) cartoon Stormship Troopers? Also, don't forget the new Battlestar Glactaca tonight! _C

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#23)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 06:28:55 AM EST
    “You can't have privacy and socialism at the same time.” I wonder if the same mentality that embraces the state as a provider of necessity can be sufficiently suspicious. As I see it we should limit the power of the state primarily for its proclivity to obstruct, rather than secure, liberty. Anyway, the aversion to state ID is uniquely american. I’m always interested in seeing my new foreign colleagues state ID. While looking at my new Dutch friends Belgian ID I was surprised to find he is required by law to vote. Something like a $1000 fine if he doesn’t.

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 10:48:58 AM EST
    this is why i use cash and have no bank account, credit cards, mortgages, car loans, etc. my issue with this is not neccessarily that i don't trust my government (although i don't) it's that i don't trust the government workers it employs. my cousing works for the state of wa - and she is a freakshow. totally 'reborn in jesus', she spends all of her time reading the bible and witnessing to the people she comes into contact with. which is cool, do your thing, but what if she snapped? imagine a rabid anti-birth control person working at the national id place. his job is to test the cross referencing on the cards - run test tracks to be sure the sytem works. he comes across a woman who is on birth control, shops at babes in toyland, and *gasp!* had an abortion a few weeks ago. freaky mcpsycho flips out and tracks her down and murders her... sounds like a bad movie script, but having your private information pass through the hands of too many strangers is not safe. period!

    Re: Coming Soon: National ID Card (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 12:52:11 PM EST
    Good point kelite, and often overlooked.