ID me

ID me

: I know some folks will squeal about this but I’m in favor of electronic ID cards.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    I don’t know, Jeff. I have mixed feelings about this.
    I guess it boils down to what the government is going to do with the information collected about the movements of the card holder.
    The article says that even access to national parks will be involved. It is very easy to track nearly every move someone makes.
    “So what?” I hear some of you asking…”I ain’t got nothin’ to hide!”
    Not today you don’t. Eventually, you will.
    What if you go to a porn shop? Perfectly legal…embarrassing as hell if your employer finds out. Ah, that’s right…you would NEVER do such a thing.
    Not all “sins” are so obvious.
    When the Oklahoma City Bombing happened, anybody who ever listened to Rush Limbaugh or griped about paying federal taxes was a potential “militia” member.
    “Let’s just check who’s been to Montana or Idaho lately.”
    I’m not one of those “Mark Of The Beast” people, but I don’t like a paper trail of EVERYTHING I do or anywhere I go.

  • Jeff, you have a point, and as parents we want our kids to be recovered if anything horrible ever happens to them. Laugh it off, if it makes the neocons feel good, but there are nuances.
    Such as: how do you feel about the Real ID bill passed out of the House yesterday?
    A lot of the protest of it was that the States would wind up paying for administering national standards requiring proof of US citizenship to get a drivers’ license.
    (Of course, a lot of protest was the wiping out of all Fed. and State laws to enable the building of 3 miles of fence in CA – as if that would totally eliminate our illegal immigration problem, anyway.)
    In CA, one school has required these IDs and a lot of protest comes from parents who I guess feel like the kids are guinea pigs.
    As a parent, I am like you, I am in favor of them. But again, the devil is in the details. Is this another item whereby our Federal Govt will slough off its responsibilities onto state and local governments, that already can’t afford the education and health (& insurance) expenses they’ve already had piled on them?

  • /pd

    I’m in favour of ID card’s with RFID technology. But can the .gov take full responsilbity and protect my information ??
    A blogged the story Ruth mentions on Kids in school with tags.

  • Jeff – can you explain why you are in favor of them?

  • Jeff,
    I can’t quite figure out whether your support for these cards means you’re a government-nanny-loving commie or a freedom-hating jackbooted fascist; I will think about it and return later with appropriate vitriolic criticsim.

  • Wurd Hubris, you read my mind.
    I guess I can understand the benefits of this. But I think that the potential downfalls outweigh them. Since I wont even use my real name online in order to prevent ID theft and harassment, yeah, I’m not a fan. While it is a great idea as far as anti-terrorism efforts go, I think it gives the government far too much information about me.
    Also, having all of those documents in a central location is NOT wise. Even if they are only digital copies. Digital security is only so good right now and putting all of that information in one place is like painting a big red digital target on it. Imagine if a terrorist or hacker got in there, they could completly reek havoc on the entire population. It isn’t even smart to carry your SS card in your wallet, Imagine having a data bank with everyone’s SS card for an entire city. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I’d rather be paranoid than in 1984.
    If this passes congress I am so moving to Canada.

  • Like you, I live in New Jersey. I think the greatest thing for a NJ driver is the E-ZPass box that lets you zip through the toll lanes on the GSP and the Turnpike. But I know people who won’t use them because they don’t want “them” to know where they’re going. Go figure.

  • The only good thing I can see coming out of this is if the ID is scanned when one enters a polling place on election day, for the purpose of preventing multiple votes.

  • Hunter McDaniel

    I am genuinely unsure as to whether this is a good idea. 9/11 changed things, so that I am willing to live with security measures I would have dismissed beforehand.
    But I have also recall seeing some pretty good arguments that were skeptical of the effectiveness of ID systems. One of the core problems, as I recall, is that any such system is only as good as the source documents verification that underly it. And source documents (birth certificates, etc.) can rather easily be forged. Security personnel may give the new IDs more credence than they deserve, with a net effect of DECREASING security.
    But as I said, I open to argument on this issue.

  • pr

    In a world where we incorrectly use our ss# as an ID number (in MASS its been on your drivers license for years unless you asked for an “s” number), and you need a license or state ID card to cash a check, buy alcohol or even cigarettes. Is a so-called national ID card really going to harm anyone? Isnt that what you already have? We either have some form of an ID card or we have nothing at all. I think the former is much safer.

  • It’s an idea whose time is coming, and the most important thing we can do now is to safeguard ourselves NOW against the abuse that IS going to happen.
    Law should be less reactionary and more proactive. This would be a good place to do it.

  • Jeff and BuzzMachine readers,
    I agree that a Federal standard for drivers licenses is necessary, for reasons of national defense. I make the case, citing Federalist Paper #25, over at DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS.

  • I agree, the time has come. Pre 9/11 I was opposed, but sadly, we need more security these day.

  • My concern isn’t the thought of a national id card, although I don’t want it to happen. My concern is that where data can be abused, data will be abused. Anyone interested in learning more should read No Place to Hide by Robert O

  • htom

    National ID became a dead idea to me when I read John Brunner’s The Shockwave Rider. Just too many problems with them, problems that cannot be done away with. Undercover cops are going to have to have multiple IDs, as will people in Witness Protection, for an example.
    Confirming identity is a problem. This is not a solution to that problem.