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“Real ID” program causing legislative concern

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

The Pantagraph has a good story today about the controversy over the federal Real ID program and a legislative resolution that expresses the state’s concerns over the issue.

Illinois could soon join the chorus of states to “revolt” against a federal law requiring standardized driver’s licenses across the country.

In the past months, a host of states have expressed varying levels of frustration with the Real ID Act — a law that would require citizens to have a federally accepted form of identification to get onto airplanes or into some government buildings.

Some have said having a massive national database of personal information could lead to identity theft problems.

Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the Illinois branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, characterized the states’ frustration as a “revolt” and hopes Illinois effort will get federal lawmakers to act.

A resolution that could be debated in the Illinois General Assembly would be similar to some other states in that if it’s approved, the rebuke wouldn’t carry legal weight. It’s designed to send a political message.

Go read the whole thing. Secretary of State Jesse White is scheduled to testify on the resolution this week. The resolution’s text can be found here.

RESOLVED, That the members of the Illinois General Assembly oppose any portion of the Real ID Act that violates the rights and liberties guaranteed under the Illinois Constitution or the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights;

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 27, 07 @ 9:45 am:

    The resolution doesn’t say that the Real ID Act is bad. It is just saying that it opposes any portion of the Real ID Act that violates our rights and liberties. The Real ID Act doesn’t violate our rights and liberties, so it is a useless piece of paper and a waste of time.

    Just ask one of the dozens of modern societies that do this if there is identity theft and you will discover that the answer is NO. Right now your private information is for sale and can be found on THOUSANDS of databases. When you eliminate these databases and consolidate them into one, you REDUCE the chance of identity theft, not increase them. Your identity is open for sale right now. Fixing this huge problem is one of the intentions behind the Real ID Act.

    But also consider how many millions are made off of your private data. It is sold to thousands of buyers. That is why you get so much junk mail. It is these businesses that do not want the Real ID Act. It would put them out of business.

    So, all these groups that are attacking the Real ID Act and claiming that it will make identity theft easier are liars. It is logically wrong. We have witnessed how well these systems work in other countries. It is proven. It works.

    In the future, hopefully no one will have your private data except for those who must have it. Then they must contact a secured database for authorization when they need to have it. Believe it or not, that is the way things are done in most modern countries.

    It is high time the US joins them.

  2. - Leroy - Tuesday, Feb 27, 07 @ 10:28 am:

    Agreed with VanillaMan.

    If the Fed government gave the state a pot of money to implement the RealID Act per the Fed’s requirements, the GA in Springfield wouldn’t be able to award the contracts for implemention here fast enough.

    This has more to do with money than privacy.

  3. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Feb 27, 07 @ 10:36 am:

    Okay, I’ll bite–how does REAL ID battle identity theft? Most identity theft uses credit which doesn’t require a photo ID.

    The problem with the law is that it will make it damn near impossible to get a license for many people and the verification requirements will make the formerly long lines at the DMV seem pleasant.

  4. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Feb 27, 07 @ 10:43 am:

    If the Feds can’t protect the identity data of Vets in the VA why on earth should I trust them to protect this database? Until the Feds can prove they can be trusted with data, they shouldn’t get access to additional data.

  5. - i d - Tuesday, Feb 27, 07 @ 11:05 am:

    Since the FBI can’t even keep track of their own laptops, who would be in charge of the information?

  6. - Ali Bin Haddin - Tuesday, Feb 27, 07 @ 11:59 am:

    Right, I bet when I return from Canada, the border crossing authorities will be impressed with my Illinois Driver’s License and FOID card.

  7. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 27, 07 @ 12:30 pm:

    Listen guys - there is nothing to prevent you from taking all the information you collect from other people and selling it. Right now it is an open market.

    Imagine how many various forms of governments have your personal data. They not only have your ID, they have their own personal information along with it. Then imagine how many businesses has your personal data. Everytime you do business, there is a computer collecting data on you and using it for their benefit, not yours.

    Now, how many of those databases are protected? How many are leaking? Just how easy is it to get your personal data right now? Anyone in the business will tell you that you have no secrets. Identity theft is easy in our current environment.

    Those of you who want to oppose this by pointing out a mistake that happened in one agency within the Federal government must admit that it is even easier to see other government agencies doing the same thing. This is a reason to be opposed or is this a reason to fix it? Burying your head in the sand is not something you have to do.

    We don’t even need to reinvent the wheel here folks. Just glance at how other societies are doing this and you will see how well it works. Everyone has a number. Instead of filling out every freaking form with rheams of personal data, you enter your number. This makes anyone handling your data blind to who you are and gives you a measure of security we do not have here. You can’t steal IDs if there is only one place it can be found. Other countries lock this stuff up. Right now in the US, you can go online and buy your neighbors. It is time for us to grow up, isn’t it?

    The time has come to join the real world with Real ID. What we have is far worst than what could possibly replace it.

  8. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Feb 27, 07 @ 1:54 pm:


    All those other nations have Federal governments that are full of trusty technocrats. Ours is not and cannot be trusted.

  9. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Feb 27, 07 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===The time has come to join the real world with Real ID. What we have is far worst than what could possibly replace it.

    How does REAL ID fix any of the problems you just identified? It doesn’t solve identity theft. The only thing it supposedly does is make it harder to get an official ID and significantly slows the process of getting it by requiring each form of ID given to get your ID is verified with the issuing body.

    So every County Recorder is going to have to devote significant amounts of time verifying adoption and birth records.

    Yet, fake IDs will still exist and technology makes them easier all the time.

    What are you solving with REAL ID?

  10. - Logical - Wednesday, Feb 28, 07 @ 12:04 pm:

    If RealID produces license like a Californian has then it is worth the costs. California’s licenses look just like a credit card without all of the garbage that IL places on theirs. The majority of us carry credit cards, so why can’t our drivers license carry the important information on a magnetic strip?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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