BTC Commentary -- The Enhanced Driver's Licens (EDL) is a Real ID compliant license which adopts global standardization [WHTI] for border crossings into Mexico and Canada using an RFID chip. California is now considering a bill which would adopt this federal standard for the State license. The State currently meets many of the federal (and far less controversial) benchmarks for federal compliance. However, the bankrupted State is making hard decisions about what to do next.
Washington State opted for this method for use at the Canadian border State, as one example of this policy. Their drivers license policies are not a good act to follow. Here's why.
Washington State, a State with all of its pros and cons, has fallen repeatedly to the elements of corporatism. Some claim proudly, the State invented THE method of squeezing the Federal government for bids, becoming America's "bullion base" a national corporatized soup. This State has very nasty lobbies to garnar federal money for producing war materials, drones, nuclear arsenals, unregulated privatized prisons, bids for mass surveillance and employs loads of federal contractors, including, unfortunately, Microsoft.
Washington State might also suddenly be suffering from an attack of conscience. One of Ft. Lewis McChord's finest is on trial for mass civillian murder in an Afghani villiage. Ft. Lewis has also managed to get the attentive compassions of its Senators for the high amount of military suicides. There have also been some changes in King County Sherriffs so complaints against racial targeting, police homicide and brutality can come to justice. Local judgement is still a bit wonky when it comes to knowing when and where to draw the lines on DHS federal surveillance funding: police employment of drones, mass transit surveillance and voter choice was for an IAFIS biometric initiative.
By comparison, California has much better standard of adhereing to basic Constitutional liberty when negotiating surveillance limits. Their publics will ask them not to put surveillance where it doesn't belong: nightclubs, entertainment venues, and workplaces. They will ask police and federal groups to stop infiltrating their protests and other 1st Amendment activities. However, they still suffer with the same trajectory of the nation. Sacramento should stick with their initial judgement calls on EDLs instead of being the front runner for a Stasi borne policy in the Southwestern US.
It is the official position of this blog adopting EDL regulations should not be a carrot and stick offered to States because they are consistently dangerous to public privacy and would globalize State identity articles against local interests. Identity card suppliers and manufacturers are constantly massaging US Federal appropriations committees to create business for themselves as "regulatory requirements". States being asked to comply with regulatory benefits would not be advised to sign up now if they wouldn't in 2008.
There is no difference in what States are being asked to do when it comes to EDLs. Real ID policy is still an internal passport developed as advised by the late Marcus Wolfe, a Sr. Stasi Police official transplanted to the US. Stasi identity requirements were once villified (1989) for totalitatarian standards set forward against the American way of life.
California's politics on Real ID have been complaint, but they have not gone the way of Der Stasi, yet. Opposing Rep. Ben Hueso's Bill, AB 17 is way to turn the rudder away from that standard.
California held out in 2008. They can do it again by asking for an extension to the upcoming deadline in January and refusing to comply with federal standards that do not suit their publics interest.
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