Monday, May 10, 2010

Papers Please...

...excerpted from AOL News (your leader in crappy news stories):

After becoming one of only 10 states to issue a new kind of driver's license with beefed-up security features, Nevada became the first to stop issuing them -- a move that has delighted privacy advocates and outraged the governor.

"Nobody wanted this [license]," Rebecca Gasca, public advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, told AOL News. "There were diverse groups speaking out against Real ID because of the privacy implications, because of the threat to due process, because of the exorbitant costs. ... It would create a de facto national ID card with national standards and national requirements."

Nevada had issued the new licenses under the Real ID Act, a federal law passed in 2005 to tighten security on state-issued identifications in the wake of revelations that several 9/11 hijackers had legitimate driver's licenses. In the Silver State, the change meant that the Department of Motor Vehicles would require two forms of identification as well as proof of Nevada residency in order to issue a Real ID-compliant license, which features additional anti-counterfeiting elements and a gold star.

Opponents of the measure fear it will lead to a national, government-owned database of personal information accessible to all sorts of agencies that otherwise would need to get court orders. Yet Real ID supporters insist these fears are unfounded.

"The federal government already has our Social Security numbers, they don't need anything more," Gibbons spokesman Daniel Burns told AOL News. "They can get everything they want with that. The notion of DHS creating a second database -- why would that be necessary? The IRS already has that. ... People are acting like it's some sort of Big Brother thing when it's not."

"It's an intrusion on people's privacy," said Wagner, whose party is the third-largest in the state, with 60,000 registered voters. "It wouldn't stop any terrorists or anything that's happened so far. But the next thing they'll do is put an RFID chip in it and know where we are at all times."

Such talk drives the governor crazy because it's so far afield from what the Real ID Act -- and Nevada's implementation of it -- actually does, Burns said.

"The black-helicopter people with the tinfoil hats, they influence a lot of people, including legislators, and meanwhile we're wasting money, we're less safe and we're less sure that Nevada's tax money is being spend on Nevadans," Burns said. "The people who are fearmongers can be very loud and talk to large groups of people via e-mails and blogs. Enough people have been persuaded that this is a scary thing, and that's tragic because it would make the nation safer."

Biased Comments (excerpted from common sense):
1) There is NO difference in the computer database with the new licenses.
2) Without the new ID, one Proof-of Identity is needed. Who only has one = illegal aliens who bought them.
3) Many drug dealers have licenses from Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and New York - where there are loopholes. The federal law sought to close those loopholes after they were discovered after 9/11.
4) Why would the reporter, who pointed those out, not question the ACLU about that?
5) The Governor of Nevada gets it. "...people with the tinfoil hats..." if you don't know what that is, go on a ride-along with a cop, 50% chance of meeting one.

To combat what Burns called misinformation, a "myths, facts and answers" site was posted last week on the Nevada DMV's website. Among the entries:

Myth: The new [Real ID-compliant] license is a de facto national ID card. Fact: ... Nevada's standards for identification met the Real ID Act's requirements long before the Real ID Act was passed. The only change is that to get the new Nevada driver's license, the documents used to prove identity are electronically verified. It is still a Nevada driver's license and the documents required to prove identification ... are the same documents the DMV has been requiring for years.

Myth: The Real ID Act calls for a national database of driver information. Fact: IT DOES NOT. There is no national database linked to the Real ID Act. Ironically, banks and credit agencies have far more information on individuals than any DMV does.

Myth: The new driver's licenses will not stop terrorism. Fact: It's not a complete solution but it is a piece of the puzzle. It's certainly easier to catch terrorists if they are required to prove their identity. The Real ID Act also enhances protections against identity theft and a whole range of crimes such as welfare fraud. It enables states to enforce the "one driver, one license" concept by verifying whether a motorist holds licenses in multiple states.

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