Action Alert for Weds. Hearing on Pass I.D. Act

First, my huge thanks to Big Tent Democrat for his excellent blogging of this morning's Sotomayor hearing. Not only is his analysis right-on, he manages to hit the highlights and lowpoints of each round of questioning.

If I may divert for one post, please contact these Senators today and ask them to oppose the Pass I.D. Act, a flawed fix to the Real I.D. Act. A hearing is being held Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The ACLU and 17 other civil liberties groups sent a letter to Congress today. Their action alert is here. We need to repeal, not fix, the Real I.D. Act of 2005. [More...]

The advocates believe that in the most significant measures the Pass ID Act is the same as the Real ID Act. Beyond creating a National ID, both the bill and the law invade American’s privacy, endanger victims of domestic violence by failing to adequately shield their addresses, raise fees associated with identification cards, expose consumers to identity theft and fail to boost security. Like the privacy groups, many states oppose the de facto national ID as a waste of state tax dollars that will put privacy at risk without any security benefits. Since the Real ID Act passed, 14 states have passed statutes barring participation and 24 states in total have rejected the 2005 law.

“This bill should repeal, not fix, the Real ID Act of 2005,” said Calabrese. “The only fix in the Pass ID Act is the name. Congress might hope that the states who voted against implementing the Real ID Act will give them a pass on Pass ID, but that would be ill-advised.”

The groups joining the ACLU in the letter: the Campaign for Liberty, Citizens Against Government Waste, Consumer Action, Cyber Privacy Project, DownsizeDC.org, Inc., Electronic Frontier Foundation, Equal Justice Alliance, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Liberty Coalition, National Immigration Law Center, National Network to End Domestic Violence, Privacyactivism, Privacy International, Privacy Journal, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Rutherford Institute and U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation.

Don't be fooled by the name change. Pass I.D. is a national I.D. card. Cato has more.

Consider more carefully also what PASS ID and REAL ID are about in terms of biometrics. Both require states to “[s]ubject each person applying for a driver’s license or identification card to mandatory facial image capture.”

States across the country are using driver license photos to implement facial-recognition software that will ultimately be able to track people directly - nevermind whether you have an RFID-chipped license or show your card to a government official. They are aiming at preventing identity fraud, of course, but with advancing technology, before too long you will be subject to biometric tracking simply because you posed for an unsmiling digital photo at the DMV. REAL ID and PASS ID are part and parcel of promoting that.

Does PASS ID address “most of the major privacy and security concerns with REAL ID”? Not even close. PASS ID is a national ID, with all the privacy consequences that go with that.

Call your Senators today and tell them:

  • 1.You are opposed to the Real ID Act and the PASS Act
  • 2.You are opposed to being enrolled into a biometric identification system
  • 3.You do not want our social security numbers in state DMV databases
  • 4.You do not want RFID chips in our drivers licenses
  • 5.You are opposed to the federal government intervening in the issuance of state driver’s licenses

Those of you that have twitter and Facebook accounts please get the word out.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Letter to senator? (none / 0) (#1)
    by diogenes on Tue Jul 14, 2009 at 08:14:18 AM EST
    Answers to questions
    1.  Why?
    2.  What is wrong with biometrics?  Do I have something to hide?
    3.  People steal batches of SSN's all the time/VA's, medicare numbers, employers have them in databases with associated hack risks; someone who wants mine can find it with an advanced internet search.
    4.  Why not an advanced chip to decrease potential forgability?
    5.  Since driver licenses are good in every state, there is much more basis for the feds to standardize driver licenses then most federal meddling in state actions.

    information (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Tue Jul 14, 2009 at 09:01:04 PM EST
    You can pay about a hundred dollars on the internet to get a wealth of information from existing databases (age, marriages, divorces, residents in one's household, addresses for decades, criminal convictions, etc, etc)  Anyone who really wants to track me down can pay a competent detective several dollars more to get all the rest of the information.  
    I myself don't think that I'm so important that someone will take the time to track me at all times.  On the other hand, if this is a way to track parolees or catch people with outstanding arrest warrants (some of them violent criminals or wifebeaters) by tracking them, isn't that a good thing?  Or can only law-abiding citizens be tracked?