Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Two stories on the coming National ID Card

I've started using popurls.com as my mega-filter to interesting stories on the Web, although it has the real potential of becoming a major productivity buster. Here's one of the reasons I like it, an "opposing viewpoint" editorial from the Manchester Union Leader -- "New Hampshire can stop the coming federal police state." An excerpt here:

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE Senate will soon vote on what might be the most important bill to protect our freedoms in many years. House Bill 1582, which the House overwhelmingly passed last month, would preclude New Hampshire from participating in the REAL ID Act, a federal law passed last year establishing a de facto national ID card.

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 as a part of a "must-pass" military appropriations bill, though it had nothing whatsoever to do with the military. It requires that all states comply with certain federal requirements in the creation of driver's licenses, and would likely include a microchip containing information such as a digital photo, Social Security number and digital biometric information like the fingerprint or retinal scan of the license holder. It would force the repeal of several important privacy protections currently in New Hampshire law.
and an article from the U.K. Guardian Unlimited, Q. What could a boarding pass tell an identity fraudster about you? A. Way too much, with an excerpt here:
If the expert was right, this stub would enable me to access Broer's personal information, including his passport number, date of birth and nationality. It would provide the building blocks for stealing his identity, ruining his future travel plans - and even allow me to fake his passport.

It would also serve as the perfect tool for demonstrating the chaotic collection, storage and security of personal information gathered as a result of America's near-fanatical desire to collect data on travellers flying to the US - and raise serious questions about the sort of problems we can expect when ID cards are introduced in 2008.

I'll leave it to Constant Reader to draw his/her own conclusions.

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