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New Driver's License Rules: more privacy gone courtesy of Homeland SecurityViews: 540
Jan 13, 2008 12:43 amNew Driver's License Rules: more privacy gone courtesy of Homeland Security#

Danielle (Dani) Cutler
Though if you were born before 1964- you can keep your privacy. People over 50 are too tired and old to be terrorists, at least in Homeland Security's eyes! ;-)

On the serious side, I can't believe they are seriously going to implement this shit.


Homeland Security to Unveil New Driver's License Rules

Thursday , January 10, 2008


Americans born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to get more secure driver's licenses in the next six years under ambitious post-9/11 security rules to be unveiled Friday by federal officials.

The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and con artists to get government-issued identification. The effort once envisioned to take effect in 2008 has been pushed back in the hopes of winning over skeptical state officials.

Even with more time, more federal help and technical advances, REAL ID still faces stiff opposition from civil liberties groups.

To address some of those concerns, the government now plans to phase in a secure ID initiative that Congress passed into law in 2005. Now, DHS plans a key deadline in 2011, and then further measures to be enacted three years later, according to congressional staffers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not yet been made. DHS officials briefed legislative aides on the details late Thursday.

Without discussing details, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff promoted the final rules for REAL ID during a meeting Thursday with an advisory council.

"We worked very closely with the states in terms of developing a plan that I think will be inexpensive, reasonable to implement and produce the results," he said. "This is a win-win. As long as people use driver's licenses to identify themselves for whatever reason there's no reason for those licenses to be easily counterfeited or tampered with."

In order to make the plan more appealing to cost-conscious states, federal authorities drastically reduced the expected cost from $14.6 billion to $3.9 billion, a 73 percent decline, according to Homeland Security officials familiar with the plan.

The American Civil Liberties Union has fiercely objected to the effort, particularly the sharing of personal data among government agencies. The DHS and other officials say the only way to make sure an ID is safe is to check it against secure government data; critics like the ACLU say that creates a system that is more likely to be infiltrated and have its personal data pilfered.

In its written objection to the law, the ACLU claims REAL ID amounts to the "first-ever national identity card system," which "would irreparably damage the fabric of American life."

The Sept. 11 attacks were the main motivation for the changes.

The hijacker-pilot who flew into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, had a total of four driver's licenses and ID cards from three states. The DHS, which was created in response to the attacks, has created a slogan for REAL ID: "One driver, one license."

By 2014, anyone seeking to board an airplane or enter a federal building would have to present a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, with the notable exception of those more than 50 years old, Homeland Security officials said.

The over-50 exemption was created to give states more time to get everyone new licenses, and officials say the risk of someone in that age group being a terrorist, illegal immigrant or con artist is much less. By 2017, even those over 50 must have a REAL ID-compliant card to board a plane.

Among other details of the REAL ID plan:

—The traditional driver's license photograph would be taken at the beginning of the application instead of the end so that should someone be rejected for failure to prove identity and citizenship, the applicant's photo would be kept on file and checked in the future if that person attempted to con the system again.

—The cards will have three layers of security measures but will not contain microchips as some had expected. States will be able to choose from a menu which security measures they will put in their cards.

Over the next year, the government expects all states to begin checking both the Social Security numbers and immigration status of license applicants.

Most states currently check Social Security numbers and about half check immigration status. Some, like New York, Virginia, North Carolina and California, already have implemented many of the security measures envisioned in REAL ID. In California, for example, officials expect the only major change to adopt the first phase would be to take the photograph at the beginning of the application process instead of the end.

After the Social Security and immigration status checks become nationwide practice, officials plan to move on to more expansive security checks, including state DMV offices checking with the State Department to verify those applicants who use passports to get a driver's license, verifying birth certificates and checking with other states to ensure an applicant doesn't have more than one license.

A handful of states have already signed written agreements indicating plans to comply with REAL ID. Seventeen others, though, have passed legislation or resolutions objecting to it, often based on concerns about the billions of dollars such extra security is expected to cost.


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Private Reply to Danielle (Dani) Cutler

Jan 13, 2008 12:52 amre: New Driver's License Rules: more privacy gone courtesy of Homeland Security#

Wo is deine papier, Danielle? Wir mussen diese papier sehen, bitte.

Private Reply to L J

Jan 13, 2008 9:31 pmre: re: New Driver's License Rules: more privacy gone courtesy of Homeland Security#

Danielle (Dani) Cutler
Yikes- I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that one, my friend...


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Jan 14, 2008 12:58 amre: re: re: New Driver's License Rules: more privacy gone courtesy of Homeland Security#

Danielle (Dani) Cutler

DHS Announces New License Security Standards
Real ID Program Has Drawn Criticism From States, Privacy Groups

Jan. 11, 2008 —

If you were born after Dec. 1, 1964, be prepared to face something in addition to that long line at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the next few years: more scrutiny.

Because of 9/11 commission recommendations aimed at rooting out potential terrorists, driver's license rules and procedures will be stricter and standardized across all 50 states, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced today.

"There are three categories of people who will be very unhappy about secured driver's licenses," Chertoff said, "terrorists and people who want to get on airplanes and in federal buildings and avoid terrorist watch lists, illegal immigrants who want to work in this country by pretending to be American citizens, and con men."

But the new plan is likely to anger many more  from states that will have to implement the costly changes to civil rights groups that say the changes will invade individuals' privacy and make them more vulnerable to identity theft.

The program, called Real ID, will require states to ask license applicants for proof of citizenship and residency, instead of the typical date of birth and Social Security number. States will also have to work together to make certain the applicants don't obtain multiple licenses, and they'll need to add security features into the license design to help stop counterfeiting.

Most individuals will be required to present Real ID-verified identification for boarding commercial airline flights, using federal facilities and entering nuclear power plants before the end of 2014.

The department is asking that states take steps toward complying with the program by May 2008, with the first deadline set for Dec. 31, 2009. By that date, states must have upgraded license security and a system in place to verify the citizenship and residency status of all license applicants.

Those who have not reached the age of 50  individuals born after Dec. 1, 1964  will need a Real ID-compliant license by Dec. 1, 2014, but the program extends the deadline exactly three years for those above that age threshold.

States that fail to meet those deadlines will put residents in a position in which they need an acceptable form of ID, such as a passport, in order to fly or enter federal buildings.

With the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers possessing a combined 364 aliases, and with 18 of those 19 hijackers carrying some form of fake identification  including 17 with phony or illegally obtained driver's licenses  Chertoff said U.S. citizens understand the need for such a program and called their wish for more stringent identity protection measures "undeniable."

As for the cost to states, the department maintains that the changes are what citizens want, and that the department will help defray the costs by issuing federal grants.

Chertoff explained today that, when extrapolated across all states, the cost of the program works out to be about $8 per license.

The Homeland Security Department says it's making approximately $360 million in grant money available to assist states with the implementation of the new guidelines, but states will need to come up with funds for the remainder of the costs.

States will ultimately bear the brunt: The new guidelines come with a hefty price tag, even after the grants  $3.9 billion total, reduced from an original projection of $14.6 billion.

"There's no doubt about it. The states carry the heavy burden here. Essentially they're turned into the investigative arm of the federal government to ensure [that] people are who they say they are, and the burden is in the billions of dollars," Michael Greenberger, director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland School of Law. "The federal government today is announcing that the burden has been reduced, but the states are getting pennies on the dollar for the obligations they have to fulfill this. It's a clear cut unfunded mandate."

The new guidelines quickly sparked criticism from a top Democrat on Capitol Hill, even before they were officially announced.

"It is unfortunate that instead of addressing the fundamental problems this law poses for the states, the [Bush] administration appears content merely to prolong a contentious and unproductive battle to force the states to comply," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a statement this morning.

"Rather than improved security, this course will result in resentment, litigation and enormous costs that states will be forced to absorb."

But Chertoff contends the new plan is the product of listening to stakeholders' concerns and much careful consideration.

"But I will also say there comes a point in time that all the discussion and analysis has to stop. We are now over six years from 9/11. We live every day with the problems of false identification."

Chertoff went on to say, "The time has come to bite the bullet and get the kind of secure identification I am convinced the American public wants to have."

But according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, legislative bodies in 21 states have passed legislation opposing Real ID, and six states prohibit compliance with the plan by statute.

Fifteen states' lawmaking entities passed resolutions urging Congress to amend or repeal Real ID or otherwise indicated the state's intention of noncompliance with the program.

In contrast, Indiana and Nevada have passed bills that move those states toward compliance with Real ID. Three other states have made budgetary moves to ease the implementation of the plan, the conference found.

"The administration would do much better to treat the states as partners, and forego the paternalistic mandates that the American people are rejecting," Leahy's statement stated.

But financial burden and disagreements with the states aside, Greenberger also echoed the concerns of many privacy groups.

"The key question is that the states are going to have to create massive databases, use massive databases, and are these databases going to be secure?" he said. "The track record on the security of these databases is not good. They are hacked into on a regular basis."

Chertoff said today that states won't have to collect any information that they don't already gather during the license application process and that the data won't wind up in a national database.

"We are not going to wind up making this information available willy-nilly," he said. "In fact, the steps we are taking under Real ID will enhance and protect privacy rather than degrade and impair privacy."

Chertoff went on to ask, "What is the privacy argument for making it easy to forge that identification, or to impersonate somebody, or to lie about who you really are?"

"I'm frankly still waiting to hear the ACLU or somebody else get up and explain why we're better off as a society if when someone presents a license to get on an airplane, they can pretend to be somebody else, or they can lie about their identity," he said.

The secretary went on to add that the program gives local DMV offices further defense so they don't "become victimized by people who try to get phony driver's licenses."

As for those DMV offices, wait times are expected to increase. An impact analysis by the National Governors Association from 2006 noted, "To comply with the requirement that all [driver's licenses/identification] card holders reverify their identity with the state, individuals must gather and present all their identification documents, which may more than double the length of time they spend at their DMVs."


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