TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: FAQ: How Real ID Will Affect You

Re: FAQ: How Real ID Will Affect You
18 May 2005 09:32:03 -0700

> I highly recommend reading the opinions of Bruce Schneier, of
> Counterpane Internet Security:

Very good stuff and recommended. Two paragraphs stand out:

> "The REAL ID Act requires driver's licenses to include a "common
> machine-readable technology." This will, of course, make identity
> theft easier. Already some hotels take photocopies of your ID when you
> check in, and some bars scan your ID when you try to buy a
> drink. Since the U.S. has no data protection law, those businesses are
> free to resell that data to data brokers like ChoicePoint and
> Acxiom. And they will; it would be bad business not to. It actually
> doesn't matter how well the states and federal government protect the
> data on driver's licenses, as there will be parallel commercial
> databases with the same information. "

He is absolutely right. It already is a scam where a restaurant
employee secretly copies a credit card and its mag stripe for illegal
purposes. Nothing would stop hotel workers and others from doing the
same thing. Remember many of these workers tend to be low paid,
transitory without much loyalty, and not much love for their
customers. The minute the new cards and readers go into service
someone will hack and illegally copy them.

Beyond that, there is a legitimate sharing of information as
described. Note that the "Privacy Policy" booklet we all get says the
company will share data with its "business partners" which could mean

(the next paragraph I quote said):

> "REAL ID doesn't go into effect until three years after it becomes
> law, but I expect things to be much worse by then. One of my fears is
> that this new uniform driver's license will bring a new level of "show
> me your papers" checks by the government. Already you can't fly
> without an ID, even though no one has ever explained how that ID check
> makes airplane terrorism any harder. I have previously written about
> Secure Flight, another lousy security system that tries to match
> airline passengers against terrorist watch lists. I've already heard
> rumblings about requiring states to check identities against
> "government databases" before issuing driver's licenses. I'm sure
> Secure Flight will be used for cruise ships, trains, and possibly even
> subways. Combine REAL ID with Secure Flight and you have an
> unprecedented system for broad surveillance of the population."

We're not gonna wake up one morning and discover we need "our papers"
with us at all times. But we are seeing is requiring "our papers" to
do more and more things of everyday life. In Boston, they had ID
checks during the convention. Some libraries require a real ID for
entry (not merely your library card). Young adults must show ID to
guy cigarettes or drink. In the interest of "fraud control" and
"terrorist security" or "criminal security" we are being ordered to
show real ID in more and more places.

I like to walk and have been occassion stopped by cops on patrol for
neighborhood safety. When I walk around my own neighborhood I don't
carry my wallet and have no ID at all on me. I wonder what will
happen if I'm stopped then.

I have national unlimited phone service. I wonder if despite that,
the ESS is keeping a log of every phone call in and out and just
storing it someplace. On TV, they imply those logs exist and the cops
may get to them.

Can anyone defend this new stuff? Are there real benefits I don't

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