Monday, March 10, 2008

REAL ID Contention Headlines

Real ID Legislators Cited Patriot Act Regulations to Further Passage

WASHINGTON– According to the Coalition for Secure Driver’s Licenses, pilot regulations for a national ID were first implemented in commercial driver’s licenses with the passage of The Patriot Act. Such provisions laid the bedrock for legislators, such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, to vote in the passage of The Real ID Act of 2005.

Brian Zimmer admitted that pro-Real ID legislators had been very quiet about their rationale in favor of a national ID card. The reasons cited were a sense of nationalism from possessing a valid national ID, increased security for foreign aquistion of driver’s licenses, and legal sources linked to 911.

According to Zimmer, President of Coalition for Secure Driver’s Licenses (CDSL) the Real ID Act of 2005, “will never be repealed” based on the legislative muscle of those who demanded and passed the act: the Department of Homeland Security, the US State Department and the US Department of Justice. Pro- Real ID legislators stood on a development platform to standardize IDs with upgrades and that the US had fallen behind contemporary international standards for identification. The upgrade was one of the strongest points carried to the Congressional Reform Committee in 2004. This included US passport standards. The bill sought to escalate standards found in “advanced” UN Nations, like Japan and those of the European Union- historical targets for terrorism- according to Zimmer. This language led to a “National ID card” for US citizens. US standards were then debated based on the comparative uses in these countries.

Prior to his station with CDSL, Zimmer was a staffer on the Congressional Reform committee and heavily involved with the day to day regulations of US identification. He indicated that the US State Department has a vested interest in carrying over ID measures to border securities and manage tribal wars in Kenya and underdeveloped nations. Zimmer, who authored the original Real ID Act in 2004 prior to congressional debates, was unaware of any information concerning legislation to centralize state database systems for federal ID information.

DHS Grants Available to States to afford Real ID Regulations

Beaverton,Ore.- States struggling to pay motor vehicles vendor Digimarc to implement Real ID regulations are being encouraged to apply for federal grants offered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to a Digimarc marketing representative. The grants offered by DHS and handled through FEMA, totaled at 90 million in federal funding.

The cost bids are being set by vendor, Digimarc. Digimarc stands to profit at least 11 billion dollars from US state monies to implement the Real ID regulations, enforced by DHS. The biometrics company co-sponsored the Washington Real ID Convention in September of 2007 and spent $350,000 on lobbies before the act's passage this winter.

Digimarc’s source said that the general costs to implement Real ID was unknown due to variances based on state differences and technologies needed for regulated standards.
According to a document released by Digmarc’s Vice President to Homeland Security’s Task force, costs to states may include: increased office staff, more stringent background checks, personnel management, facility security upgrades, new designs, new production processes and new database networks. The proposed technologies to upgrade ID’s by May 11th, 2008 are mandatory facial image capture for 7 year storage, citizenship authentication technologies, and a centralized state database.

FEMA released a statement encouraging the pooling of federal grant monies and state resources with American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to offset costs. The apparent purse strings attached to the grants are compliance with centralized databanking systems for a National ID.

“This would include the creation of a single gateway or Internet portal all States would have access to verify the personal identification information of individuals applying for REAL ID; i.e., drivers’ license or ID card," said FEMA's Public Affairs Department.

The enacted plan to centralize citizens private data has sent privacy advocates scurrying for alternatives and seeking ways to repeal the Real ID Act.

Digimarc, a national ID contractor, markets the following technologies and services to local state governments for compliance with the Real ID Act of 2005.

Image Capture & Retention
· Capture digital images of identity source documents in a transferable format
· Retain copies of source documents – 7 years for paper or 10 years for image
· Conduct mandatory facial image capture

Identity Verification & Data Sharing
· Verify, with the issuing agency, the issuance, validity, and completeness of each
· document
· Verify the legal presence status of a person
· Confirm/verify a renewing applicant’s information.
· Confirm with SSA all applicant SSNs using the full 9-digit number.
· Confirm termination of previous license in another state before re-issue
· Provide electronic access to all other states to information contained in the motor
· vehicle database of the state

Card Security & Training
· Establish fraudulent document recognition training programs
· Implement physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting,
· or duplication
· Deploy common machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data

Biblical prophecy finds way to legislators in battle over ID plan

LITTLE ROCK --As state legislators line up against the U.S. government's attempt to standardize driver's licenses nationwide, some believe it is a beastly plot that will draw the world closer to the apocalypse.

Montana Governor Rips ID Law

All Things Considered Interview

NPR - Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and every single state legislator have refused to implement the Real ID Act, a congressional mandate to create standardized identification documents. Schweitzer tells NPR the law is "kooky" and "hare-brained," asserting that half a dozen high school students and a Kinko's are all that would be needed to subvert it. Schweitzer wonders why Homeland Security demands that states agree now to provisions that are not yet determined and won't be implemented for at least seven years. Montana has until May to reverse its position or, in the ominous words of a Homeland Security spokesman, "showing up at the airport with a Montana driver's license will be no better than showing up without any identification."
Source: NPR

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