February 11, 2005
US approves National Identity Card
Yesterday, the US house of Representatives approved the National Identity card.
This was first created in December 2004's Intelligence bill, loosely called the Patriot II act because it snuck in provisions like this without the Representatives knowing it. The deal is basically a no-option offer to the states: either you issue all your state citizens with nationally approved cards, or all federal employees are instructed to reject access. As 'public' transport (including flying) falls under federal rules now, that means ... no travel, so it's a pretty big stick.
If this doesn't collapse, then America has a national identity card. That means that Australia, Canada and the UK will follow suit. Other OECD countries - those in the Napoleonic code areas - already have them, and poorer countries will follow if and when they can afford them.
This means that financial cryptography applications need to start assuming the existence of these things. How this changes the makeup of financial cryptography and financial applications is quite complex, especially in the Rights and Governance layers. Some good, some bad, but it all requires thought.
Posted by iang at February 11, 2005 09:54 AM
No one needs to be concerned about a national id card because they will be fraud rigged from the beginning. The company that obtains the standard contract will of course screw it up and the cards value will be worthless. Government cannot satisfy desires and needs beyond national defense and collecting taxes. This failed effort will result in private id cards being issued. The private id card will grant access to specific areas based on well defined needs and clearances of the parties involved. The federal government cannot balance a budget how will they manage something as complexed as a national id card. The first set of screw ups will be the issuance of cards to those no longer with us that still recieve benefits from Social Security and other agencies, to be followed by the fake ids issued to the government people. The final insult will be dealt to the taxpaying public via the announcement that the cards crypto has been cracked after a multi-billion dollar roll out. We already have Social Security numbers in fact all children are required to have them why not use that system. The answer is simple the system has been corrupted from the inside and the outside and renders useless information that cannot be verified. So now the national id will be issued based on local data collected and submitted to the political subdivisions of the US which will be false because entitlements are based on numeric features and many places rely upon the entitlements to make their state and community function.
I'm concerned with the way this part was written: "...snuck in provisions like this without the Representatives knowing it".
Who do you think put them there?
We have the same issue of a billion dollar investment in UK ID cards - that generally appear to be one expensive white elephant.
You Yanks could be forgiven for going over the top on security issues - you've never faced organised terrorism on your own soil (though been supportive of it elsewhere, ie, Afghanistan).
However, us Limey's have had 3 decades of IRA bombings and shootings, yet our government is suddenly trying to push us into security hysteria.
ID cards are not a solution to security - they're just another tier of bureaucracy and game for exploitation by fraudsters.
Doesn't re-assure me in the slightest.
I think it's pretty funny that people agree that having a national identity card would be awful, but they can't agree on whether this is a national ID card or not. Rather than debating what this thing should be called, why not go back to the supposed bad effects of a national ID card, and show how they apply to this proposal? The name doesn't really matter, what counts is the effect.
A federal ID card is little more than an attempt by the federal gov't to emphsise the illusion that they are actually taking real action to make the country more secure. Here's a thought. All the terrorist organisations are derived from nations and groups who, at one time were financed, supplied and trained by the USA,UK France etc. eg Osama in Afghanistan, Saddam in the 80's ,Saudis even now .All of them have intimate knowledge of the security systems, or lack thereof, in those countries. If the administration was truly concerned about the safety of the population rather than the profitability of their political donors, then the prez would stop vetoeing security bills sent to him and awarding the contracts to his cronies. The ID card is a smokescreen.