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Liberals and Conservatives come together to oppose National ID legislation

Liberals and Conservatives come together to oppose National ID legislation

Old Nov 16, 04, 10:51 am
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Post Liberals and Conservatives come together to oppose National ID legislation

ACLU, Conservative and Liberal Allies Denounce National ID Card Plan in Intelligence Reform Bill

November 15, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: [email protected]

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today joined with organizations from across the political spectrum to run a full-page open letter advertisement in the Washington Times, asking the conference committee on intelligence reform to remove the national ID provisions from its final 9/11 intelligence reform legislation. The conferees are currently working to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill.

"When groups this diverse unite against an issue, it is clearly about poor policy - not partisan politics," said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "A national ID is a bad idea. It would strip Americans of their rights to privacy while doing nothing to protect America from future terrorist attacks."

The ad urges the committee to remove provisions from the final intelligence reform package that would create a national ID card. A national ID card, the open letter says, would create an unprecedented invasion of the privacy rights guaranteed by the Constitution and would allow the government to constantly monitor everyone with a driver’s license or identification card.

A national ID card would do little to stop terrorist attacks and would cost billions of dollars to develop and implement. Similar attempts to create a national ID were rejected by every Congress and Administration that has considered it since President Ronald Reagan.

In addition, the creation of a national ID card system would not prevent the use of faulty documents, such as birth certificates, to obtain government ID. Such a system would not have thwarted the September 11 hijackers, many of whom reportedly had identification documents on them, and were in the country legally.

The letter was signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, American Conservative Union, American Library Association, Gun Owners of America, Republican Liberty Caucus, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Free Congress Foundation, and approximately 40 other organizations.

"We all want a country that is as safe as possible," said Marvin Johnson, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "But ‘Big Brother’ provisions such as a national ID card would only serve to restrict our freedoms and invade our privacy and do nothing to ensure our security."

http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/Safe...ID=17014&c=206
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Old Nov 16, 04, 11:23 am
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Folks, don't forget to call your Congresscritter to urge them to oppose the ID legislation if/when it comes up - for all the reasons stated in the last post!
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Old Nov 16, 04, 12:01 pm
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"We all want a country that is as safe as possible," said Marvin Johnson, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "But ‘Big Brother’ provisions such as a national ID card would only serve to restrict our freedoms and invade our privacy and do nothing to ensure our security."

Amen! It's bad enough we have to identify ourselves to a law enforcement officer upon demand, even with no probable cause. Having to carry a document to satisfy this un-American and other demands is a true disgrace.
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Old Nov 16, 04, 12:07 pm
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I can't even wrap my mind around the concept of our Government coming up with something as nefarious as this...

So what is next...outlaw cash in favor of debit cards with smart chips that are linked to our national ID cards so the government can track where we shop, what we buy, etc...how about adding our DNA and medical info to their list as well.

Actually...if you want a glimpse into the future, just do a little research on a company called "Seisnt"...they are probably the biggest single threat to our privacy, democary and way of life.

The ACLU needs to turn it up a notch and make sure the entire concept is tossed away for good.
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Old Nov 16, 04, 12:44 pm
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We already have two forms of national ID: one is data (the SSN) and one is physical (the passport). Thank God both are optional.

If the government creates a national ID card, I will make every effort to get and use exclusively a phony one.
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Old Nov 16, 04, 1:18 pm
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good day,

sorry, but how does the possession of a national id "allow the government to constantly monitor us" or "how does it restrict our freedom" ?

i have worked with a number of families in the greater san diego area who have had minor children "deported" to tiajuana, mexico. the only problem is that the children are american citizens too young for a driver's license and who only spoke their household language, i.e., spanish.

the government can access reams of files and data on us by having the police "run a driver's license check".

why not have a secure document that would function to identify citizenship and possibly be used as a national driver's license? how would the addition of that piece of plastic to my wallet "restrict my freedom"?
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Old Nov 16, 04, 1:36 pm
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A federally standardized driver’s license is a National Identification Card. Linking this new generation of licenses to a national database, as is allowed under the proposals you are considering, gives the government unfettered access to personal information about virtually everyone in America.
Coupled with technology already on the market, this card would allow the government to constantly monitor everyone with a driver’s license or identification card.

• National Identification Cards do not stop terrorist attacks. Israel has a National ID card program that is similar to the proposals under consideration, yet it continues to be victimized by terror attacks.

• A National Identification Card program would cost billions of dollars to develop and implement. If you are going to spend billions of our tax dollars, it should be spent on programs that actually make us safer, not on those that merely give the illusion of safety.

• Every Congress that has considered a National Identification Card program and every Administration since President Ronald Reagan has refused to endorse such a proposal.

There are ways to make America safer that don’t take away our rights and liberties. But the National Identification Card program being proposed in the Intelligence Reform bills is not one of them.
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Old Nov 16, 04, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by travis bickle
i have worked with a number of families in the greater san diego area who have had minor children "deported" to tiajuana, mexico. the only problem is that the children are american citizens too young for a driver's license and who only spoke their household language, i.e., spanish.
And?

How is this relevant to a national ID card? If this was a concern, why didn't these people get their kids California state ID cards or passports?
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Old Nov 16, 04, 3:01 pm
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Financing for this unAmerican program (by rigging together a national ID system out of the state-by-state pieces) may sneak into the omnibus spending bill that Congress is trying to pass in its lame-duck days.

Last edited by GUWonder; Nov 16, 04 at 3:05 pm
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Old Nov 16, 04, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by travis bickle

why not have a secure document that would function to identify citizenship and possibly be used as a national driver's license? how would the addition of that piece of plastic to my wallet "restrict my freedom"?
I don't need to establish myself as a citizen for ID purposes unless I'm crossing an international border. For that, I have a passport.

One does not have to be a citizen to obtain a drivers license, either.
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Old Nov 16, 04, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by fastflyer
We already have two forms of national ID: one is data (the SSN) and one is physical (the passport). Thank God both are optional.
Wait a minute. SSN is optional? Granted, I didn't get mine until I was 15 and and needed one to register for my driver's learner's permit. I thought everyone had to have a SSN?
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Old Nov 16, 04, 4:37 pm
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There are some groups that did not and some of whom still do not participate in Social Security, certain state and federal government employees comprise one group.

Also, noncitizens in many cases do not have an SSN. In any case, you can decline to provide the SSN (or provide an alternate TIN or EIN number). It's basically a piece of data as opposed to an identification document. (There is the flimsy paper card, but I doubt any significant numbers of Americans have it on their person)
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Old Nov 16, 04, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by travis bickle
why not have a secure document that would function to identify citizenship and possibly be used as a national driver's license? how would the addition of that piece of plastic to my wallet "restrict my freedom"?
Because the next step after that is that you are required to carry the document at all times, use it for all financial transactions government or otherwise, use it to enter airports, train statioins, bus terminals, toll booths, buildings, etc., and present it to law enforcement upon demand even with no reasonable suspicion. The only positive I can see to that situation is the ability to immediately detect and deport all of the illegal aliens, but I'm not willing to pay the huge price for that benefit.

Right now I do not legally have to carry ID in the USA unless I plan to drive a car (or unfortunately, board a plane without SSSS, and sometimes a train/bus (well sort of, nobody will cite the law)--examples of the mission creep I wrote of above).

As soon as such a system exists you can bet the govt will start collecting a database of financial and travel habits and then using it to predict "bad" behavior. Like most government blacklists (e.g., no-fly list) the number of false positives would be orders of magnitude above the true positives.

Many non-USA countries (e.g. parts of the EU) require everyone to carry photo ID at all times. Many Americans consider that a bad thing.
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Old Nov 16, 04, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by studentff
Because the next step after that is that you are required to carry the document at all times, use it for all financial transactions government or otherwise, use it to enter airports, train statioins, bus terminals, toll booths, buildings, etc., and present it to law enforcement upon demand even with no reasonable suspicion. The only positive I can see to that situation is the ability to immediately detect and deport all of the illegal aliens, but I'm not willing to pay the huge price for that benefit.
You should also remember that the technology is already available that would not even require you to get the document from your pocket, it would just be read remotely by anyone with the right equipment. I would expect any new system to include remote interrogation of the card as a requirement because of the "benefits" that it provides.

Originally Posted by studentff
Many non-USA countries (e.g. parts of the EU) require everyone to carry photo ID at all times. Many Americans consider that a bad thing.
Many Europeans consider that a bad thing too...

Some countries only require foreigners (as opposed to everyone) to carry photo ID at all times, whether resident or tourist - I am specifically thinking of Japan for this one. Of course this kind of discrimination only really works in a non-homogeneous population where non-citizens can frequently be identified solely by appearance.

The difficulty that I think the US would have is that the data protection laws in the US are perhaps inadequate to prevent the misuse of the data that could be obtained.
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Old Nov 16, 04, 8:55 pm
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I'd like to discuss this topic a little bit further. Could those opposed to the ID card please expound on what's "un-American" about it? I have no problem with privacy, nor am I a fan of a "big brother" government. At the same time, I can't imagine our nation's founders would be opposed to more secure ways of identifying ourselves as opposed to less secure means.

(I realize the answer I will get to the above statement is that "we shouldn't have to identify ourselves." I agree with that statement, but only to a point. My question is, should we not find the best, most secure way to identify ourselves in those cases when we have to? I am thinking not only of government-involved situations, but also private ones such as opening a bank account.)

I really fail to see how a national ID card would be any more "big brother"-ish than what we have now:

*SSN/TIN (either way, a "national ID number") is a de facto requirement for employment/tax/banking purposes
*State drivers license databases are easily accessible by all other states for verification purposes
*Passports have all the necessary information (name, gender, DOB) to run checks against national databases

I'm not arguing that the national I.D. card will somehow "make us safe." Rather, it would make it at least a little bit easier to detect phonies if the document itself had added security features, and everyone from Hawaii to Maine knew to look for the same features. Further, a uniform document--or at least uniform state license standards--would allow for uniform technical means of verifying validity.

I do agree with the sentiment that there are other security measures that are presently more deserving of funding, so don't jump on me on that one
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