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View Full Version : U.S. National ID Arises From the Grave!



Peter Lemkin
07-16-2009, 12:00 PM
Take Action! Oppose PASS ID, the Real ID revival in the Senate here.
http://www.realnightmare.org/about/114/
The PASS ID Act of 2009: An Inadequate Fix for Real ID

On June 15, Senator Akaka (D-Hawaii) introduced S. 1261, the "Providing for Additional Security in States' Identification Act of 2009" or the "PASS ID Act," which repeals and replaces the Real ID Act of 2005 with new national requirements for driver's licenses. While this stems from a sincere attempt to fix the unworkable Real ID Act of 2005, PASS ID simply serves as a band-aid on a gaping wound. It actually re-institutes many of Real ID's problems, and in some cases makes them even worse:

PASS ID would impose the United States' first-ever national identity card system, which would violate privacy by helping to consolidate data and facilitate tracking. After a 5-year hiatus to allow for implementation, PASS ID will be required for boarding airplanes in the same manner as Real ID, and over time its use will almost certainly expand to cover other activities necessary to participate in society.
PASS ID mandates that all identity source documents be copied physically or digitally and retained as long as the license is valid. By creating troves of sensitive documents on millions of individuals, this provision will be a dream for identity thieves.
In a provision that is actually worse than Real ID, PASS ID will allow insecure technology such as radio RFID chips to be used as part of PASS ID, despite the strong potential that technology holds for tracking of individuals' movements.
While PASS ID makes some concessions for the security of domestic violence victims, it still requires victims to get approval from the state before they can shield their identity. PASS ID will also require a broad array of identity documents and use the same flawed federal databases, creating long lines and hassles for drivers. In a time of shrinking state budgets, its costly administrative changes will be passed directly on to consumers in the form of higher fees.
PASS ID also burdens the rights of certain religious minorities by requiring digital photographs on each license. While many states have an exceptions process to accommodate these individuals, PASS ID actually preempts state religious protections.
Under PASS ID some legal immigrants will still be unable to get a PASS ID and many will be required to renew their licenses annually.

This legislation is entirely unnecessary because, thanks to the rebellion in the states, the Real ID Act is already dead. To date, 24 states have enacted anti-real ID bills or resolutions, and fourteen of those states have passed binding legislation prohibiting participation in the Real ID program. And the Real ID rebellion is not over, five states have already passed resolutions or statutes in 2009; Missouri will likely become the next state to opt out of Real ID if its governor signs legislation currently before him.

Rather than saving Americans from the Real ID legislation that they have rejected in such large numbers, PASS ID would actually rescue the core policies of Real ID at a time when it is about to die of its own misguided impracticality.

The problems inherent in Real ID cannot be solved by tinkering around the edges of the act. Instead, the entire unworkable system must be scrapped and replaced with a system that does not endanger Americans' privacy and civil liberties, such as a "negotiated rulemaking" process that brings together stakeholders to hash out wise and realistic improvements to driver's licenses (such a process was underway before Real ID shut it down). The PASS ID Act creates more problems than it solves, and it should not be viewed as a viable alternative to a true repeal of Real ID.

Read the ACLU's press release on PASS ID here.
Read our Coalition's Statement of Principals on PASS ID here.