Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sneak Attack

Just in case you are not aware of it...the fascists in charge of our country are about to take another big bite out of your personal liberty. Hidden away as an added bonus in the Supplemental Appropriations Bill for Iraq and Afghanistan is a nifty little thing called the The RealID Act and there are some charming little details.
One section of the bill prohibits the federal government from accepting state driver's licenses or other ID cards that don't meet certain "minimum document requirements." These include a digital photo, machine-readable technology, and "physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting or duplication." States will also be required to demand certain documents from applications, including "evidence of lawful status" in the United States. And states will be required to retain paper copies of those documents for seven years, or digital copies for 10 years.
What does this mean you may ask? If your state isn't ready within three years to issue this compliant ID you won't be able to board a flight, take a train, enter a federal courthouse or any other Federal building if you use your state-issued driver's license as identification.
Use a little imagination and you will begin to see that even though it may be issued by the states this is in reality a national id and all states and the government will have access to the data. This means your every movement and action will be available for anyone who wants to know it. If you think that this data will be safe because it is in the government's hands you are forgeting ChoicePoint, LexisNexis and the fact that CitiBank, MNBA, etc. are the government for all intents and purposes.
"The simple answer is that it gives the government greater ability to control the actions of private individuals. It has generally been the view in this country that one of the core aspects of personal freedom is to be free of government control."
"Identification is a form of coercion. It's a way someone says you can't do what you want to do unless you prove who you are." The Village Voice

Finally, just for fun, the bill includes another cheery little fascist measure granting the Secretary of Homeland Security “the authority to waive…all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads” claimed to be vital to national security. No courts are allowed “to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security” in this process, nor to order any relief for damages incurred by the exercise of the Secretary’s authority.

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