National ID sneaked through

by on May 11, 2005 · 4 comments

Tucked inside the $82 billion emergency military appropriations bill that passed unanimously in the Senate yesterday (because what senator would vote against “supporting our troops”?) was the REAL ID Act, courtesy of Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). That act effectively creates a national ID card by standardizing state drivers licenses and databases. Worst of all, the Act requires that all licenses include a “common machine-readable technology.” RFID is a top candidate to fill that bill, as I lament here. What’s amazing to me is how little debate there was on this particular bill, even though decades of disagreement on national IDs had managed to stave them off. Check out this column by Bruce Schneier to learn why the new IDs are bad news for privacy, for security, and for the states.

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