Discussion in 'Current Events' started by NewGuy, May 28, 2004.
More goodies in the rest of it.
wonderful, isn't it great how our government does things the way we want?
My right to privacy is violated every time I forget to lock my room and my little brother and his friends bust in to surprise me. The government can moniter me all they like, hey, perhaps when they have wasted enough time/money, they will moniter someone who is suspect to a crime!
Hey NG, you don't use credit, and you don't take loans right? So this probably isn't too bad for you, or do you still feel violated?
I just call John Ashcroft every day to tell him what I've been up to. It saves time.
May 31, 2004
A National ID
he very idea of a national identity card has always rankled Americans across the political spectrum. It conjures images of totalitarianism Big Brother or even the German SS soldier asking to see a citizen's papers. But in most European countries, people carry national ID's as a matter of course. And pressure is mounting in America for some kind of security card.
Private companies in the United States are already marketing the idea of providing a secure card for those willing to submit to extra background checks, similar to a concept proposed by the airlines. Tenants of high-rise buildings or workers at chemical plants, for example, also want security without endless body searches and bag checks. It's time for Congress to begin a serious discussion of how to create a workable national identification system without infringing on the constitutional rights of Americans.
Concerns for security have already forced Americans to flash identification far more frequently than they would ever have imagined before the terrorist attacks of 2001. Driver's licenses are well on their way to becoming "de facto" national ID's. Their inappropriateness is one of the most compelling reasons for a national identification card. The states have wildly different standards for determining whether applicants for driver's licenses really are who they say they are, making them only minimally reliable for security purposes. And turning driver's licenses into identification cards undermines their original purpose to make certain that drivers are qualified to handle a car or truck. The very rational argument in favor of allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses that it would encourage them to learn to drive safely and to obtain insurance is undermined if the licenses are also used to demonstrate that a person is not a security risk.
Private corporations are now marketing identification systems based on personal and unique "biometrics" like eye scans or fingerprints. The airlines are also considering ways to create a kind of frequent-flier security pass for those willing to submit to a more intense identification check. These private solutions might allow corporations to work out the kinks in these new security systems, a process that could take years if the government tried to do it. But they are only appropriate for limited uses. Otherwise, the country would become a two-tiered security world where the haves zip through lines and have-nots wait endlessly and endure personal searches.
The concept of a national ID card, on the other hand, presents a host of possible problems, not all of them related to civil liberties. As the New York City Council learned tragically last year when a councilman was killed after he helped get his killer around the screening point, the point of security is not to make sure that people are carrying the correct form of identification. It is to make sure that they do not have a weapon. Almost any identification card that can be created can be counterfeited, and a fake supersecurity pass would present more dangers than a fake driver's license.
If ever there was a good subject for a study commission, this is it. Congress or President Bush should get the best minds, the experts on security, civil liberties and technology, to start wrestling with the most nettlesome issues in this debate.
How, for instance, would government agencies ensure that documents submitted to obtain an ID card like birth certificates or driver's licenses were not forged? How could access to the central database be limited and protected against misuse, particularly by law enforcement? A card might help Americans move through airports more easily or even cash checks more rapidly. But it would probably have to be voluntary. That also means the police must not be allowed to harass those who choose not to have it.
If we're going to move to a national identification card, we can't afford to do it badly. Now is the time to figure out how to create a card that helps identify people but doesn't rob them of a huge swath of their civil liberties in the process.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
Without addressing the merits of the idea, I'd like to point out to all you "conservatives" so madly in love with open borders, Muslim prayer calls over the loudspeaker and affirmative action for Africans that a racially and culturally homogenous nation doesn't NEED "national ID cards." That's because the citizens carry their "ID" naturally: it's their skin, their manner, their language, and so on.
Think about it. A nation is really, in its most natural form, an extended family.
"William Joyce, once again with your racist nonsense. Blah blah blah." Yes, but am I right? Here's one for the neocons to choke on: Mohammed Atta and friends would have drawn attention in America in the 1950s, but not today, and that is in a large measure a reason they got away with their crime.
Considering a "mark" to buy and sell using biometric type data is the natural result for ID and will be inevitable, violation of privacy is required to make said mark work.
In that aspect, and by nature of it being nobody's business Constitutionally what I do in my home, I have absolute hatred for it.
This is the future if George W. Bush is re-elected folks. John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness will be fully implimented. There will be no more privacy in America. This will cease to be a nation of free people.
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